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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The president of Caixa Econômica Federal, Gilberto Occhi, announced that the process of joining the bank’s employee Voluntary Dismissal Plan (PDV) will open today (February 7th). Occhi said the goal is to reach a maximum of 10,000 employees enrolled, out of the 30,000 who currently work at the company.

President of Caixa Econômica Federal, Gilberto Occhi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
President of Caixa Econômica Federal, Gilberto Occhi, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.

The estimated savings for 2018 is R$1.8 billion according to the bank. Occhi spoke to the press after attending a ceremony at the Planalto Palace where changes were announced in the Minha Casa, Minha Vida program yesterday.

“The PDV in Caixa will be attractive. It will have strong appeal and, starting tomorrow, Caixa employees who are eligible, retired or not, with a minimum of fifteen years at the Caixa, [will have] the option to join,” said Occhi.

For those who want to join, the bank offers as incentive the payment of ten base salaries of the employee, limited to the amount of R$500,000. The amount will be paid in a single installment along with the termination funds, according to a statement that G1 news agency had access to.

Faced with legal limitations to promote staff cuts in Brazil, public companies are turning to PDV plans, or incentive retirement programs, to improve the balance sheets. According to a survey by the Ministry of Planning, between 2015 and 2016 these resignation plans have already cut 37,626 employees in eleven state-owned companies.

In the midst of a severe economic crisis across Brazil, a wave of layoffs has also hit state-owned banks. Banco do Brasil, which like the Caixa is controlled by the federal government, announced a goal to cut up to 18,000 employees and achieve an annual savings of R$3,798 billion, and also includes branch restructuring.

The latest survey by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that Brazil closed 2016 with 12.3 million unemployed people, the highest rate since the country entered into one of the worst recessions of its history.

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