Practically one in three self-employed workers, 28.7%, would raise the contribution base to Social Security if they improve the benefits to which they are entitled, according to the report "The self-employed worker before social security"Carried out by the National Federation of Associations of Autonomous Workers, ATA for Fundación MAPFRE.

The study, the result of a survey of more than 1,800 self-employed workers, aims to analyze the approach of the self-employed to social, public and complementary pension systems, and increase their financial and insurance knowledge so that they can make more informed decisions about your future.

"Among the objectives that Fundación MAPFRE has is the promotion of a greater financial and insurance culture," says Julio Domingo, General Director of Fundación MAPFRE, "The more information citizens have, the better decisions they can make about their future and, speaking of supplementary savings and pensions, decisions have to be made 20 or 30 years before retirement, for which it is essential to be well informed . That is why we work to disseminate this knowledge by promoting studies for specific groups, such as this one of ATA, or through initiatives such as the portal Insurance and pensions for all "

The Study reflects that 86% of the self-employed contribute for the minimum base, which in 2019 is set at € 944.40 / month. Despite this figure, it should be noted that 37.9% of the group is predisposed to change and raise their contribution base, of which 28.7% said that they would do so if they improve the benefits they currently offer to the group.

Against this, 38.2% of the self-employed points out the lack of income as the main reason for not uploading their base contribution and a 13.2% prefer to invest money in hiring private plans because they consider that they are better than the benefits that they will receive from the public system.

Given this situation, the study carried out by ATA evaluates the knowledge that the self-employed have and believe they have about which rights derive from their contributions. One in two freelancers – 54.9% – believe they do not have sufficient knowledge of the benefits generated by their contributions to Social Security and only one in three self-employed – 33.7% – considers that they know the basics. Only 3% of the self-employed consider that they have a wide knowledge of the benefits to which they have the right to be autonomous and to contribute to the Social Security.

The contribution bases established by the Social Security for 2019 establish the minimum contribution base at € 944.40 / month and the maximum at € 4070.10 / month. From these two figures the self-employed can choose the amount for which they wish to pay (30% of the chosen base is what is quoted). That 30% is distributed:

  • 28.30% – Common contingencies.
  • 0.90% – Professional contingencies.
  • 0.70% – Cessation of activity
  • 0.10% – Professional training.

Breaking down the different social benefits included in the quote, health care, sick leave and retirement are the best known by the self-employed: two out of every three self-employed – 67.2% – affirm that they know their contribution entitles them to healthcare, 58.5% have access to sick leave not derived from their professional activity and practically one in two – 47.1% – know they have the right to retirement.

As for professional contingencies, two out of every three self-employed workers – 66, 2% – know that this contribution entitles them to benefit in case of an accident at work. Faced with this, one in four self-employed – 25.6% – mistakenly believes that professional contingencies also cover health care.

It is appreciated among the collective ignorance of the benefits that cover the different contingencies for which they are contributing: 20.8% – one in five self-employed – believes that common contingencies give them the right to leave due to an accident at work or occupational disease, when this benefit is included in the contribution for professional contingencies, a contribution for which up to January 1, 2019, only 19% of the self-employed contributed. After the last approved measures all the self-employed already quote for professional contingencies.

"In short, the study reflects a group of self-employed workers with a high degree of ignorance of both the benefits to which they are entitled due to their contribution to Social Security, which resorts moderately to private protection systems and on which it is declared , mostly, unfamiliar", Points out José Luis Perea, general secretary of ATA.

Graphs 3.3 and 3.4, which are presented below, show what the respondents really know about the benefits that correspond to them for the payment of their Social Security contributions. The question asked specifically was what are the benefits linked to each type of contingency. In the graphs you can see marked with a check (✓) the correct answers.

graphic 2

graphic 3

Six out of ten freelancers suspend social security

The study also analyzes what is the assessment of the collective Social Security system in general and how they see it in comparison with the tax burden and the services of the rest of European countries.

The feeling of misinformation and ignorance that the self-employed have in the social protection systems has as a consequence the low valuation of the benefits of both sectors. Thus, it is observed as six out of ten autonomous, 59.8% suspend Social Security and only 12.1% of the one above the notable rating.

In addition, a strong 62.6% believes that the Spanish system is below or well below the rest of European countries. "The lack of information seems clear, in this sense, because Spain is spearheading the equal rights of self-employed workers, being the only State that has a Statute of Autonomous Work, a fundamental piece in the equality of rights of the workers, "says José Luis Perea.

This disinformation is particularly worrisome, the study notes, taking into account that many of the measures are recent and given their novelty they should have had enough diffusion to reach, at least, the members of the group affected.

As a conclusion to the study, both entities point out the need to address an awareness campaign among the group of benefits that may involve increasing, as far as possible, their contribution base and also serve to make them more aware of the benefits to which they are entitled.

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