Outlay on social security benefits up by €32.3 million in 2016

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Outlay on social security benefits up by €32.3 million in 2016According to data from the National Statistics Office released today, in 2016, the outlay on social security benefits rose by €32.3 million in comparison to 2015.

By the end of 2016 social security benefits expenditure amounted to €900.7 million, resulting in a 3.7 per cent increase when compared to 2015. The rise in outlay was due to a €44.0 million increase in Contributory Benefits expenditure. Conversely, Non-Contributory Benefits expenditure decreased by €11.7 million.

Contributory Benefits outlay for 2016 amounted to €712.2 million, a 6.6 per cent increase from 2015. The rise in outlay was mostly due to a €34.4 million increase in Pensions in respect of Retirement. Increases were also registered under Pensions in respect of Widowhood (€6.3 million), Contributory Bonus (€2.9 million), Pensions in respect of Invalidity (€0.5 million) and Benefits in respect of Industrial Injuries and Gratuities (€0.2 million). On the other hand, a decline in expenditure was recorded by Other Benefits (€0.4 million).

Non-Contributory Benefits decreased by 5.8 per cent during 2016, amounting to €188.5 million. The main reason behind the decline was due to the one-time Child Supplementary Benefit paid in September 2015, accounting for €7.8 million of the Non-Contributory outlay for that year. Further declines were also registered under Social Assistance (€5.8 million), Child Allowance (€0.8 million) and Non-Contributory Bonus (€0.6 million).

The decline in Non-Contributory outlay was slightly offset by increases in Disability Pension/Allowance (€1.8 million), In-Work Benefit (€1.2 million), Supplementary Allowance (€0.4 million) and Medical Assistance (€0.1 million).

Between October and December 2016, social security benefits outlay totalled €232.2 million, a 5.4 per cent increase from the same period in 2015. Contributory Benefits expenditure increased by €12.9 million due to an €8.1 million rise in Pensions in respect of Retirement.

On the other hand, Non-Contributory Benefits expenditure dropped by €1.1 million following a €1.4 million decrease in Social Assistance outlay.

By the end of 2016, the Two-Thirds Pension recorded the largest number of Contributory beneficiaries with 45,495 recipients followed by the Sickness Benefit with 20,317 beneficiaries. Furthermore, the same benefit registered the biggest increase from 2015 with 2,063 more beneficiaries. Conversely, the largest decrease in recipients was recorded under the Unemployment Benefit with 464 less recipients in comparison to 2015.

In 2016, the majority of Non-Contributory beneficiaries consisted of Children’s Allowance (43,478) and Supplementary Allowance (24,244) recipients. Unemployment Assistance Taper and In-Work Benefit registered the largest increases with 959 and 868 more recipients respectively.

On the other hand, Unemployment Assistance saw the largest drop in recipients with the amount declining from 4,816 beneficiaries at the end of 2015 to 3,597 beneficiaries by the end of 2016.

Photograph by Alain Salvary

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