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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s President Michel Temer submitted a pension bill to Congress on Tuesday that will raise the minimum retirement age in the country from today’s 58 to 65 years and would require a person to work for 49 years to get full social security benefits.

Brazil, Brasilia,Social Security Secretary, Marcelo Caetano, during a press conference to explain the new pension reform bill,
Social Security Secretary, Marcelo Caetano, during a press conference to explain the new pension reform bill, photo by Antonio Cruz/Agencia Brasil.

“Ensuring the sustainability of social security is the premise of reform,” said Marcelo Caetano, Social Security Secretary at the Ministry of Finance during a press conference to announce the reform bill. For officials if a drastic reform is not conducted in the country’s social security system there will be no money to pay retirees in the future. Temer’s government has said that the social security reform is crucial to get Brazil’s economy in a sustainable growth path. Government officials say that this reform will save the country R$700 billion in social security costs in the first ten years of implementation.

Under the proposed bill, workers will have to contribute at least 25 years to the social security system to be able to retire. Today workers must contribute at least 15 years to obtain benefits. Men older than 50 and women older than 45 will be included in a transitional system.

As expected, there was heavy criticism from workers’ unions, that claim that the poorer classes of the population will be the ones most hurt by these reforms. Unions also complained about the increased minimum age of retirement. “It is not possible to put the intended minimum age, knowing that in the North and Northeast we still have municipalities in some states that the longevity reaches 67, 68 years according to IBGE. These people will not be able to retire,” General Workers’ Union (UGT) President Ricado Patah told journalists after a conference with Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles in São Paulo on Tuesday.

Although officials say that no specific country’s social security system was used as a reference for this reform ‘international standards’ were followed, a fact that also raised criticism. “Unfortunately we can not make those comparisons,” said Jane Berwanger, president of the Brazilian Institute for Social Security Law (IBDP), adding,”Brazil is not a developed economy. The labor conditions here are different.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m all for Social Security Reform as the current one was never sustainable. But if what I read is correct, in order to retire with full benefits at 65 years of age it “would require a person to work for 49 years to get full social security benefits.” I realize that the people in Brazilia are people that cannot be trusted, they lie, the steal, they cheat, and they ship millions of dollars off shore. But to require that Brazilians must start working full time at the age of 16??? Who that that one up?

  2. When Social Security was set up in the USSA, Amerikan Black males had a life expectancy at birth of around 65 years. The White rulers considered that a feature, not a bug.

    Now that the Black male is expected to live to 69, there is again talk of raising the retirement age, now at 67, to 69.

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