SHOCKING statistics released by Spain’s National Audit Office have revealed that every year, around 30,000 Spaniards are still receiving pensions – despite the fact that they are dead. And perhaps even more unbelievable is the fact that combined, these pensions add up to a total of €300 million every year.
The Audit Office arrived at the figures by cross-checking pension payments in December 2014 with deaths that had been logged into the National Institute of Statistics stretching way back to 1989.
Not surprisingly, the revelations have led to widespread criticism and outrage, not least of all because Spain is still recovering from a crippling economic recession which has plagued the country for nigh on a decade at this point.
The Audit Office argued that the entire system is in desperate need of an overhaul and pointed out that the very foundation of the bureaucratic system in Spain is riddled with cracks, flaws, and unacceptable oversights.
The report indicated that when people had died in Spain, the information was often not passed on to the Social Security Office, meaning that pensions continued unabated for months or even years, even though the recipients had long since bid their final farewells to the world. The Social Security Office and banks (through which pensions are paid) also came under fire for not instituting effective enough controls and checks before distributing the pensions.