The pension reform proposal that the Brazilian government is submitting to Congress today (Dec. 6) has set a minimum age of 65 and a minimum 25 years of social security contribution for both men and women to retire.
There are no age requirements for retirement under the existing rules. Women can apply for retirement after they have paid social security contribution for 30 years, and men, 35 years. In order to be eligible for full pension benefits, a worker must have attained a minimum score of 85 (women) or 95 (men) as a sum of their age at retirement and their years of contribution.
The president and the government's economic advisors met with leaders of the governing coalition at the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Monday (5) to review the proposal.
In a speech to congress members, President Michel Temer admitted the reform is a prickly issue that will require “sense, poise, and openness” from Congress members. Temer noted that because the reform will take the form of a Constitution amendment bill, it is not up for the president to sanction or veto it—it is enacted upon approval by Congress. “That [Parliament] is who various sectors and central workers' unions will have to argue their claims to,” he said.
Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said at the meeting that the pension reform is not a decision, but a pressing need posed by an aging population that incurs growing pension costs for the government.
The ministry reports that 141 million people are at working age in Brazil. At the current pace, by 2060, the working age population will be 131 million people, whereas the number of people over 65 years old will grow by 263%. “These figures are clearly unsustainable,” the minister said.
Translated by Mayra Borges