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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – With the promise of trying to listen to all different viewpoints before defining a proposal to be sent to Congress, the Brazilian government started Wednesday to discuss the country’s social security reform. Several cabinet members of President Dilma Rousseff’s economic team participated in a forum to discuss the subject.

Brazil, social security, ministers
Brazilian Ministers discuss social security reform, photo by Antonio Cruz/Agencia Brasil.

According to Labor and Social Security Minister, Miguel Rossetto, although the government seeks ‘preservation of a positive social security model for the Brazilian society, which has become an important instrument of social inclusion in our country’ changes must be made so that the system offers stability and a guarantee acquired rights for workers.

Among the possible changes to be discussed in the social security system are the minimum age for retirement, differences of the rules for men and women, pension due to death of partner, rural social security and access rules to the system.

According to Finance Minister, Nelson Barbosa, the number of elderly living in Brazil will grow by 217 percent by 2050, with the number of elderly being the same as the number of active workers in the country. “The guarantee of the sustainability of the social security system improves public accounts in the future, which has an immediate impact on the economy,” said Barbosa during the meeting.

According to government officials the Rousseff Administration is expected to draft a proposal for a reform by the end of this first semester, sending it to Congress for approval.

In January of 2016 President Rousseff said that the country ‘had to face’ the need for a social security system reform. “It is not possible (to maintain) the average age for retirement in Brazil at 55 years old,” said the President at the time.

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