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  #201  
Old 08-08-2017, 10:11 AM
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BRAZIL

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ional-showdown

Quote:
Spared by Congress, Temer Now Counts Votes on Brazil Pension Fix
By Simone Preissler Iglesias
August 7, 2017, 7:08 AM EDT August 7, 2017, 9:23 AM EDT
Bloomberg survey shows pension bill at least 23 votes short
Small window of opportunity to pass bill by September

Beyond clinging to power for the rest of his term, Brazil’s President Michel Temer also wants to go down in history as the man who fixed the country’s battered accounts. To that end he is trying to build on the support in Congress that last week saved him from facing a corruption trial to pass a pension reform that would save Latin America’s largest economy hundreds of billions of reais.

The magic number of votes needed to approve the reform in the lower house is 308, up from the 263 which blocked a further investigation of the charges against him last week. The consensus in Brasilia is that the government has a brief window of opportunity from now until the beginning of September to hold a first vote on the bill in the chamber of deputies. A Bloomberg survey of all 26 parties in the lower house found that the government currently has between 280 and 285 votes out of the 513 in the lower house.

That is roughly the same number of deputies that kept Temer in power: 284, when abstentions and absences are taken into account. However, the lawmakers who voted to shelve the charges are not necessarily the same as those who back pension reform. To become law, the bill also requires approval by the Senate.

The Scale of the Problem

Brazil’s pension system is unsustainable. The government currently spends around 13 percent of GDP on pensions, according to official figures, but that number is expected to shoot up. The active labor force is forecast to shrink by 6.7 percent by 2060 while the number of retirees grows 263 percent. Without a substantial pension reform much of Temer’s efforts to rein in spending to date will have been in vain.

https://www.reuters.com/article/braz...-idUSE4N1IY00L

Quote:
Brazil should avoid changes to pension reform bill -minister
1 MIN READ
SAO PAULO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Brazil's government will seek to approve its proposed pension overhaul without further changes in Congress, Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira said on Monday at an event in São Paulo.

Oliveira said the pension reform is the government's main priority to balance public finances in the long run. He also said leading indicators suggest economic growth, needed to grow tax revenues, remained "close to neutral" in the second quarter. (Reporting by Thais Freitas; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chris Reese)
https://www.ai-cio.com/news/brazils-...ension-reform/

Quote:
Brazil’s President Temer Seeks Votes for Pension Reform
Taps House speaker Maia to strategize bill, which would increase minimum age for pensions and cut benefits.

To fix Brazil’s pension problem, President Michel Temer needs 308 votes in favor of an unpopular bill to increase the pension age.

Unions are opposing the pension proposal because it would not only set a minimum age for retirement—65 for men and 62 for women—but will also cut Social Security benefits. Economists argue the reform is a necessary component in balancing the country’s budget. Brazil’s Social Security system currently allows for an average retirement at age 54 with almost full benefits.

Just last week, Temer gained support from 263 coalition members that ceased an obstruction of justice investigation, which would have been grounds for impeachment had it not gone his way. The pension overhaul was the government’s top priority until it hit a snag with Temer’s scandal in May.

Temer tapped House Speaker Rodrigo Maia on Sunday to strategize how he would achieve his goal of receiving the required votes. His goal is to have a law signed by September.

“I think we will have political conditions to approve [the pension reform] in coming weeks,” Maia told Brazilian newspaper Folha in an interview published Sunday. “Of course, nobody would be able to do a perfect reform, but it can be more than setting a minimum retirement age.”

Brazil is currently facing a deficit of R$150 billion ($48 billion). Over the weekend, Moody’s said that the deficit will not affect the country’s credit rating as it is no longer investment grade, according to Forbes.
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  #202  
Old 08-21-2017, 10:36 AM
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FINLAND

https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/i...ay_yes/9784210

Quote:
UUTISET
NEWS
News 19.8.2017 11:02 | updated 19.8.2017 11:02
Is your pension secure? Nobel laureate says no, Finnish experts say yes
Nobel Laureate Bengt Holmström caused a stir last week when he said Finland's pension funds might not be able to pay the pensions to which they're committed. According to a new assessment from the Finnish Centre for Pensions, however, there's little to worry about.

Economist Bengt Holmström's stature has grown since he won a Nobel Prize in 2016, so when he said last week that Finland's pension system was based on overly optimistic assumptions about the return on investment, there was some concern. Holmström is now Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has been since 1994.

At a centenary seminar organised by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce, he suggested that Finland should change the law now to allow occupational pensions to be reduced. Holmström said that while the baby boomer generation would receive their pensions, younger generations might find the system unable to pay what it promises when they retire.

At present the pension promise of a certain level of income-related pension is regarded as guaranteed by the constitution, so no government is able to reduce the pensions paid out.

Optimistic expectations

The pension funds currently assume a return of 3.5 percent each year on their 181 billion euros in investments, which Holmström views as overly optimistic.

In his view, as the population ages and fewer workers have to pay for the pensions of more retirees, the system will start to buckle and pension contributions will rise—perhaps forcing many of them to leave the country and work elsewhere.

Heikki Tikanmäki of the Finnish Centre for Pensions does not share Holmström's concern. He says that projections from the centre and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra show that there's little to worry about.

The projections look at scenarios where economic growth grinds to a halt, and return on investments is around half a percentage point lower than currently expected. That situation would cause an increase in the so-called 'sustainability gap' by 3-3.5 billion euros, bringing the government's annual budget deficit to 10 billion euros.

The 'sustainability gap' is the sum by which government income is projected to trail outgoings as baby boomers retire, start receiving pensions and require more health and social care as they age.


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  #203  
Old 08-25-2017, 07:18 AM
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BRAZIL

https://www.reuters.com/article/braz...-idUSE6N1JU00A

Quote:
Brazil chief of staff expects pension reform to pass house in October

BRASILIA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The chief of staff to Brazil's President Michel Temer said on Wednesday that the government is aiming to see an ambitious pension system overhaul pass the lower house of Congress by the first half of October.

Eliseu Padilha, speaking after an event at the presidential palace, expressed optimism on the pension reform that Temer sees as the key measure in his fiscal rescue plan. But top lawmakers have warned in recent days that only the most stripped-down overhaul will get through Congress, with lawmakers concerned about pushing through an unpopular measure ahead of next year's elections. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu)


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  #204  
Old 08-28-2017, 04:07 PM
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CHILE

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/chilean-...-pension-plan/

Quote:
Chilean Candidate Proposes New Pension Plan
To reform the nation’s privatized plan, Beatriz Sanchez suggests new social security-style system.

Chilean presidential candidate Beatriz Sanchez suggested swapping the nation’s unpopular public-private pension plan with a new social security system in a press conference Thursday.

A journalist representing the country’s Frente Amplio bloc, Sanchez has proposed a system that would collect funds from the state, employers, and employees before redistributing them from a common pot. This would end the current system, which sees Chileans put their savings into one of six private funds, known as AFPs, which manage $160 billion in assets. Her proposal would also allow for workers to invest in AFPs if they chose to. Minimum monthly checks would be linked to the country’s minimum wage, with a $4,100 cap. Employee contributions would also be lowered by 1% while employer contributions would increase by 5%.

“We need to ensure dignified pensions for Chile, and this requires structural, profound, and gradual changes,” Sanchez.

Introduced under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in the 1980s, Chile’s privatized pension system was initially praised as an ideal model among economists. However, it has been under fire in recent years for various reasons, which include insufficient payouts. In a 2016 interview with the Financial Times, David Blake, pensions expert for the Cass Business School in London,said that the Chilean scheme seemed like a success in the beginning, but industry-extracted charges started to pull back the curtain.

Blake also warned that the system’s failure could trigger a global collapse, saying that the World Bank was “terrified that the Chilean model will fail.”


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  #205  
Old 09-11-2017, 10:26 AM
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BRAZIL

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapo.../#69ad188f67f6

Quote:
More Corruption Allegations Mean Brazil Pension Reform Dies Another Day

Brazil's pension reform, which no one in their right mind believes is passing congress this year, got yet another death sentence on Monday. Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia said this month was a no-go for entitlement talks. Maia blamed new allegations of corruption against President Michel Temer.

"I think that with another example of foul play that we are hearing about in the media makes it difficult for us to pass any proposals for changes to the constitution until the end of this month," Maia said, adding that just because pension reform, which requires a constitutional amendment, is dead this month (shocker!), it doesn't mean other measures cannot be passed. One in particular is changes to Brazil's fiscal deficit target, allowing for the government to spend some money to keep the lights on and the retirement funds paid. This one will be big.

Pension reform is the biggest, blockbuster reform move the Temer government promised to deliver. But with ongoing criminal investigations of bribery and influence peddling concerning a whole host of congressional leaders all the way on up to Temer himself, both branches of government can be likened to chickens running around with their heads cut off. To date, Temer has managed to pass some key measures, including changes to oil and gas auctions that allow for greater foreign ownership of deep water wells, and changes to Brazil's somewhat draconian labor laws, to name a few.


.....
On Monday, Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported Maia saying that he believed Temer ha lost some of his support in the congress. He no longer has the votes to pass pension reform. Maia gave markets another timeline: if Temer doesn't sign a pension reform law by November, it's curtains for the spending cap amendment passed in late 2016.

December is Christmas and the start of the Brazilian summer time. Then comes Carnaval. After that, congress will be in campaign mode. No one wants to tell school teachers and police officers in their district that their plans to work 25 years and retire have now be changed to 30 years. Brazilians head to the polls in a general election in October 2018.

In a worst case, poor investor sentiment on a failed pension plan could impact an economy that is barely growing. If Temer can convince congress that changes to public pensions are good for the government, freeing up money that can be spent elsewhere, including on job creation, then Temer might have himself a victory. Only, not until next year.

"If we can convince congress that it is no longer sustainable to go on like this, then maybe we can bring a majority to the floor to vote for pension reform," Maia reportedly said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKCN1BF2CK

Quote:
Pension reform in Brazil unlikely before 2019: Itaú economist

Luiz Gerbelli, Patricia Duarte
3 Min Read

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil is unlikely to reform its costly pension system before 2019 because President Michel Temer, hobbled by a corruption scandal, is too weak to push the measure through Congress, the chief economist of Brazil’s largest bank told Reuters on Monday.

The lower house of Congress last month blocked a potential corruption trial against Temer, but chief prosecutor Rodrigo Janot has signaled he could file at least two more graft-related charges before stepping down in the coming weeks.

“The government’s ability to set the legislative agenda weakens if it has to use political capital for other ends,” Itaú Unibanco Chief Economist Mario Mesquita told Reuters.

“Our baseline scenario no longer considers that the pension reform will be approved this year or the next,” he said.

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  #206  
Old 09-11-2017, 08:58 PM
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SOUTH KOREA

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ension-service

Quote:
Korea's Stubborn Leviathan
The National Pension Service has vast influence but has been used as a political tool rather than an agent of change.

Sentencing the billionaire leader of South Korea's largest and most powerful company, Samsung Electronics Co., to five years in prison for bribery and embezzlement sent a strong signal the country might finally push through long-promised corporate reform.

But if Korea really wants to clean up the overly cozy and sometimes corrupt relationship between the government and large family-owned business groups, known as chaebol, it will have to look inward to its own national pension fund.
Since most workers must contribute to the fund, Korea's retirement war chest has surged to 22 million contributors and 558.3 trillion won ($495 billion) under management last year, from 189.6 trillion won in 2006, making it the world's third-largest after those of Japan and Norway.

With big money comes big influence. The NPS holds shares in 888 of Korea's roughly 2,000 listed companies, including 10 percent of Samsung and 8 percent of Hyundai Motor Co. But instead of using its might to push through corporate governance reforms and help close the valuation gap between Korean companies and those in other countries, it's been used as a tool in an array of political maneuvers.
Case in point: While most of the attention in the bribery scandal centered on impeached President Park Geun-hye and Samsung chief Jay Y. Lee, top officials from the NPS also went to jail or resigned in connection with their role in helping facilitate a controversial merger between two group affiliates. Instead of using its heft to question the merger, which was seen as a way to consolidate Lee's power over Samsung Group, the NPS was pressured to vote in favor of a deal that was good for politicians rather than its beneficiaries.
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  #207  
Old 09-12-2017, 06:07 AM
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BRAZIL

https://www.reuters.com/article/braz...-idUSL2N1LS0U0

Quote:
UPDATE 2-Brazil plans pension vote in October, before tax reform
Reuters Staff
3 MIN READ
(Adds Finance Minister comments, adds BRASILIA dateline)

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Brazil’s government intends to approve its proposed pension overhaul in the lower house of Congress in October, prioritizing it over a possible tax reform in the tight schedule ahead of the 2018 election year, ministers said on Monday.

The pension overhaul, considered vital by the government to avoid an eventual debt crisis, has been stuck in Congress since May, when President Michel Temer was accused of corruption by the billionaire owners of meatpacker JBS SA.

Monday’s remarks by Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles and Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira nevertheless suggest policymakers are more confident about securing majority in Congress for unpopular measures given the widespread perception that Temer will not stand trial.

Legislators blocked a first set of corruption charges against Temer a month ago, and congress leaders have signaled they would not remove their support for the president if a new charge is presented this week, as expected.

The government has resumed talks about the proposed changes in the pension system in order to have it voted next month, Meirelles said on Twitter.

Economists say the pension overhaul is key to avoiding financial meltdown of the government, but unions oppose proposed benefit cuts and the creation of a minimum retirement age.
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  #208  
Old 09-12-2017, 09:58 AM
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INDIA

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/indias-n...-age-limit-65/

Quote:
India’s National Pension Scheme Raises Entry Age Limit to 65
Currently, only 15% to16% of workers are covered by system.

The upper age limit for a retiree to join India’s National Pension Scheme (NPS)— has been increased by five years to age 65, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) announced Monday.

Confirmed by PFRDA chairman Hemant Contractor at a conference regarding “Transferring Superannuation Funds to National Pension System,” the change is intended to “open up pensions to sectors that are without pensions.” Currently, 85% of employees in India are working in the unorganized and informal sectors, and only 15% to 16% are covered by the NPS, which he added is currently the “lowest-cost pension product in the world.”

“NPS is currently open for people between 18 and 60, and our Board has approved raising the age limit for joining to 65,” Contractor said. “The scheme anyway has the option of continuing and making contributions up to the age of 70.”

The NPS offers members choices ranging from equity and secure government bonds to life-cycle funds, with equity investments able to go up to 75% of their contribution should they select the life-cycle fund. It also offers safer options with a large chunk of fixed-income investment.

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  #209  
Old 09-12-2017, 09:58 AM
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BRAZIL

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/brazilia...-reform-first/

Quote:
Brazilian Planning Minister Demands Government Put Pension Reform First
Corruption scandal, 2018 general elections causing distractions for lawmakers.

According to Brazil Planning Minister Dyogo Oliviera, the government needs to focus on changing laws for its ailing pension in Congress instead of on a tax reform that is not gaining the political backing lawmakers had hoped for.

“There are no conditions to push two reforms of this magnitude through Congress at the same time,” he told journalists following a Sao Paulo event on Monday. “The first reform that we need is the pension reform.”

Brazil’s government has had a troubled time trying to agree on a solution to the country’s pension system due to the upcoming 2018 general elections and an ongoing corruption scandal involving current President Michel Temer and two former presidents, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), and his successor, Dilma Rousseff, distracting lawmakers.

While economists agree that pension reform is essential to dodging an eventual public debt crisis, unions are against proposals, calling for a minimum retirement age as well as benefit reductions.

In addition, the government has yet to present its tax proposal—a priority of President Temer. A separate bill presented by Congressman Luiz Carlos Hauly, which looks to simplify the country’s tax system, has been analyzed by legislators.

According to Oliviera, the government has asked BNDES—the world’s third-largest state development bank—to return $50 billion reais ($16.2 billion) to the Treasury this year as well as 130 billion reais in 2018. Oliviera also noted that BNDES will have to change its business model to depend on market resources rather than government funds.

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