Social Security Benefits Expenditure
According to latest data published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) the Social Security Benefits expenditure totalled €497.0 million during the first half of 2018, reflecting a 3.6 per cent increase from 2017. A €16.6 million increase in Contributory Benefits outlay proved to be the main catalyst for the above-mentioned rise in Social Security Benefits expenditure.
Contributory Benefits outlay totalled €400.1 million, 4.3 per cent higher than the corresponding six months in 2017. A €14.1 million rise in Pensions in respect of Retirement, the result of a significant increase in Two-Thirds Pension beneficiaries, led to the increase in Contributory outlay. Further increases were recorded by Pensions in respect of Widowhood (€1.8 million) and Contributory Bonus (€1.2 million). On the other hand, declines in outlay were registered under Pensions in respect of Invalidity (€0.3 million) and Other Benefits (€0.2 million).
Non-Contributory outlay amounted to €97.0 million, 0.6 per cent more than 2017. The largest increase was reported under the Old Age Pension (€1.7 million), with further increases recorded under Disability Pension/Allowance (€1.3 million), In-Work Benefit (€0.8 million) and Supplementary Assistance (€0.1 million). Conversely, a decrease in outlay was reported under Total Social Assistance (€3.2 million) and Non-Contributory Bonus (€0.1 million).
Between April and June 2018 €273.2 million was spent by the Government on Social Security Benefits, of which 81.9 per cent was spent on Contributory Benefits. In comparison to 2017, Contributory Benefits outlay rose by €6.2 million while Non-Contributory outlay dropped by €4.4 million. A €5.6 million rise in Pensions in respect of Retirement was the main reason for the increase in the former while the latter was caused by a €2.1 million drop registered under Total Social Assistance.
Social Security Beneficiaries
During the first half of 2018 the Two-Thirds Pension contained the largest cohort of Contributory beneficiaries (47,822), also recording the biggest rise in beneficiaries with 2,084 more recipients in comparison to the same period in 2017. On the other hand, the Retirement Pension reported the highest drop in recipients with 589 less persons than 2017.
The majority of Non-Contributory recipients consisted of Children’s Allowance (42,036), followed by Supplementary Assistance (24,171). The In-Work Benefit recorded the largest increase in beneficiaries with 881 more recipients while the biggest drop in recipients was reported by the Unemployment Assistance (508).
On a quarterly basis a similar picture was shown with Two-Thirds pensioners containing the largest share of Contributory beneficiaries with 47,321 recipients and the biggest cohort of Non Contributory recipients falling under Children’s Allowance (41,215).