Retirement and privileged pensions: Cristina Kirchner, Mauricio Macri and Adolfo Rodríguez Sa, who earn the most

(CNN Spanish) — Former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner received more than 12 million pesos in December for her retirement and privilege pension (about US$10,480 in the parallel market); Former President Mauricio Macri 5.7 million pesos (about US$4,978 on the parallel market); And the president who remained in office for a week amid the 2001 crisis, Adolfo Rodríguez Sa, had 5.5 million pesos (US$4,803 in the parallel market), according to data provided to CNN by the National Administration of Social Security (ANSES). . Through requests for access to public information.

According to official data, in December 68.3% of retirees and pensioners (4.7 million people) received up to the minimum wage added to the bonuses given at the government’s discretion. Without considering these bonds, the minimum asset amount is 105,713 pesos (US$92 at the parallel exchange rate). That is, what Fernández de Kirchner gets is the equivalent of a minimum of 114 retirees, or in the case of Macri, 54 and in the case of Rodríguez Sa, 52.

This difference between civilians and former presidents or other types of former officials is why the monthly lifetime allowance received by those who pass from power is known as “privilege retirement”.

The government of Xavier Miley proposed abolishing them in the so-called failed “omnibus law”.

In the case of former President Fernández, the more than 12 million gross pesos she received in December is made up of her superannuation (6,731,489 pesos or US$5,879) and her pension for being the widow of former President Néstor Kirchner (5,347,976.03). pesos or US$4,670).
The difference between the “privileged” and the “non-privileged” is even larger when considering the maximum amount that can be collected for retirement.

According to Ances, the maximum price is 711,345.76 pesos (about US$650 at the unofficial price). That is, Fernandez de Kirchner’s retirement is 9 times more than the earnings of the highest-wealth retiree; And Macri’s size is 8 times bigger than Rodriguez’s.

CNN contacted spokespeople for Fernández de Kirchner, Macri and Rodríguez Sa to ask if they felt “privileged” by these lifesaving actions, but none of them responded. This payment is a common practice in many countries.

The latest data for the first half of 2023 from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) shows that 13.2% of people above 65 years of age are poor. That is, their income does not cover the expenses of the basic basket.

This urgency contrasts with the situation of former presidents who receive the highest lifetime allowances.

According to his latest affidavit submitted to the Anti-Corruption Office, the assets, deposits and funds that Fernández de Kirchner received at the end of 2023 amount to 249,421,220.32 pesos (US$217,835); In Macri’s case, when he left the presidency in 2019 the figure was 273,282,463.40 pesos (US$238,674); and in the case of Rodríguez Sa, 52,185,303.87 (US$45,576) in 2022, when he was a senator.

Former President Carlos Menem’s widow, Zulema Yoma (4.7 million pesos or US$4,104), also receives a lifetime allowance, popularly described as “privileged”, according to the list included in Ances’s response; former vice president during Macri’s tenure, Gabriela Micetti (4.2 million pesos or US$3,668); former Vice President and current deputy Julio Cobos (4.1 million pesos or US$3,580); Ines Pertín, widow of former President Fernando de la Rúa (4 million pesos or US$3,493); Betty Nelly Andrés, widow of former President Roberto Levingston (3.7 million pesos or US$3,231); Former Vice President Amadou Boudou was sentenced to permanent disqualification from holding public office (3.5 million pesos or US$3,056); Former President María Estela Martínez de Perón (2.9 million pesos or US$2,532) and Amalia Carmen Guido, daughter of former President José María Guido (2.9 million pesos or US$2,533).

The minimum pension represents barely 33.7% of the basic basket of retirees prepared by the NGO Gerontovida, whose value was recorded at 313,185 pesos (US$274) in October.

Lifetime allowances for former Presidents, former Vice Presidents, former Justices of the Supreme Court, former legislators and other former officials of the national and provincial executive branch are regulated by Law 24,018 “Privileges Retirement and Pensions”.

The law clarifies that in the event of death, benefits will be paid to “the widow or widower as well as unmarried sons and daughters up to 18 years of age.” In turn, the said age limit “shall not apply if unmarried sons and daughters are unable to work.”

CNN only had access to actions related to the positions of President and Vice President. In conversation with Ncess Press management, he requested to know the exact number of people receiving this benefit, but declined to respond through communication.

According to NCESS numbers, 7,006,061 people received retirement or pension in December. Of those, only 0.001% were more than the amount received by Fernández de Kirchner, Macri or Rodríguez Sá; Only 0.003% more than Yoma Pension; Only 0.007% more than MyKatee, Kobos or Pertinee’s fees; Only 0.01% surpassed Boudou or Andrés; And only 0.02% exceeds the retirement line of Martínez de Perón or Guido.

“It seems insulting to society that we have this type of salary,” former President Eduardo Duhalde told CNN, who claimed to have reached retirement without any benefits of the lifetime allowance law. His name is not included in the list provided by NCESS to CNN. Duhalde was one of the five presidents of the 2001 crisis. He held this post until handing over power to Néstor Kirchner in 2003. He also served as Vice President between 1989 and 1991.

Unlike Rodríguez Sa, other former presidents who held office in the 2001 crisis, such as Ramón Puerta or Eduardo Caamaño, do not receive this benefit because they chose not to process it. The same case applies to former Vice President Carlos Rukauf. Former Vice President and current Secretary of Tourism, Sports and Environment, Daniel Scioli, realized this advantage until he began his duties as Argentina’s Ambassador to Brazil.

In NCESS’s response to the request for access to public information submitted by CNN, it was reported that the decision was taken to provide this data with first and last name because it is of public interest. A statement from the National Directorate for the Protection of Personal Data was also cited: “On the other hand, if the obliged subject does not provide information about the amounts paid as life pensions to the beneficiaries, the control over government acts It is not possible to retain.”Former Presidents and former Vice Presidents (or their successors in cases of death).”

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