Pension reform to be enacted in Brazil

The rules approved by both congressional houses reach 72 mi people

Published in 12/11/2019 - 15:35 By Karine Melo - Brasília

Nearly nine months after being brought forward by the government, members of both congressional houses of Brazil decided to enact the constitutional amendment bill on the rules for retirement and pensions, affecting over 72 million people—among whom federal civil servants and private workers.

The original proposal, considered a landmark for Bolsonaro 300th day of administration, would lead to the sparing of $288.7 billion in ten years. After the changes made by Congress, the number sank to $192.4 billion. The new set of rules will become effective immediately after its enactment.

Senator Davi Alcolumbre, head of Congress, played down the absence of the president and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes at the session. “Constitutional amendments have always been promulgated in special solemn sessions at the Brazilian Parliament. Many such sittings are not attended by the president or his ministers. The presence of the president or ministers is not needed to legitimate the meeting or the promulgation,” Alcolumbre argued, adding that the efforts of all lawmakers were key to approving the bill.

The senator also pointed out the upper house is expected to hold the second round of vote for another constitutional amendment bill, complementary to the pension overhaul. It allows state and municipal governments to adopt the same pension and retirement rules for civil servants through an ordinary law, which makes local deliberations quicker. If approved by the Senate, the proposal moves on to the lower house, where it should be scrutinized by a special commission and submitted to two votes.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Liliane Farias / Nira Foster

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