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  #231  
Old 12-04-2017, 04:26 PM
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BRAZIL

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/brazils-...-moves-dec-15/
Quote:
Brazil’s Pension Reform Vote Moves to Dec. 15
Bill will be more difficult to pass if pushed back to 2018, Congress says.
Spoiler:
As 2017 comes to an end, time is also running out for a Brazilian pension reform bill to pass.

According to Reuters, the Brazilian government’s chief whip in the lower house of Congress gave President Michel Temer’s austerity agenda an ultimatum: The bill must be voted on by December 15 or it will be put off until the following year, where approval will be more difficult.

The overhaul vote was originally scheduled for December 6.

In the week before the chamber adjourns on December 22, Congress will be working with the 2018 budget, Lawmaker Aguinaldo Ribeiro told reporters. He explained that approval of the bill will be tougher because 2018 is an election year.

The road to passing a pension reform bill has been a rocky one for Brazil, as a corruption scandal involving Temer and controversial reform proposals, such as setting a minimum retirement age, have caused delays throughout 2017.

Last week, a new version of the bill turned up that would require a minimum of 15 years of contributions from private sector workers. The original bill required 25. In addition, retiring public service employees will require a 25-year minimum. To attain their full benefits, workers will require 40 years of service.

The Brazilian general election is scheduled for next October, where voters will choose the president and vice president, the National Congress, state governors and vice governors, and state Legislative Assemblies.

A general strike has been scheduled by labor unions on December 5 to protest the reform.

http://markets.businessinsider.com/n...orm-1010315017
Quote:
BRAZIL: Temer To Meet With Allies To Press For Pension Reform
Spoiler:
(RTTNews) - Brazilian President Michel Temer invited ministers and leaders from allied parties to a meeting on Sunday aimed at gauging how many votes the government would have in its bid to pass a pension reform bill, according to Agencia Brasil, the Brazilian official news agency.

The meeting is expected to take place in the official residence of Rodrigo Maia, Brazil's House of Representatives' speaker. It would also serve as a way to convince hesitant Congress members to support the pension reform.

Maia reaffirmed that the government is still far from the 308 votes needed to approve the bill. "If I do not have enough votes, we will not set a vote date," he told reporters in São Paulo, according to the "Folha de S. Paulo" newspaper.

The government wanted Maia to submit the pension reform bill to a House floor vote this coming week, but it postponed the expected voting date for at least a week.

Maia also stressed that support from the PSDB - a party expected to leave the ruling coalition soon - is vital to move forward with the pension reform legislation, but noted it would be difficult to accept any demand from PSDB to change the bill.

The party's demands, according to a government estimate, would reduce to less than half the public spending cuts expected with the reform. Currently, with the concessions already made, the government's planned spending cut is around 60% of that estimated initially (R$ 793 billion in ten years).

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN1DT354
Quote:
Brazil pension vote faces Dec. 15 deadline in house: government whip

Spoiler:
BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government’s chief whip in the lower house of Congress said on Wednesday that a pension reform bill at the center of President Michel Temer’s austerity agenda must be voted on by Dec. 15 or wait until next year.

Lawmaker Aguinaldo Ribeiro told reporters the chamber will be busy dealing with the 2018 budget in the week before it adjourns on Dec. 22. Ribeiro said passing the pension bill will be harder if left until 2018, an election year.
https://www.reuters.com/article/braz...-idUSE6N1N600S

Quote:
Brazil gov't will not further ease pension reform plan -official

Spoiler:
BRASILIA, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Brazil’s government will not further water down a plan to streamline the social security system, the presidential chief of staff said on Wednesday, after doing so repeatedly to garner lawmakers’ support.

The current version of the plan, which Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha said he expects to be put to vote in the lower house of Congress next week, would generate fiscal savings of around 60 percent of the government’s original proposal. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Daniel Flynn)

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  #232  
Old 12-05-2017, 06:13 PM
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.bca573ee00d0

Quote:
Offering pensions can help autocrats stay in power longer

Spoiler:
In recent weeks, the increasingly powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has jailed several potential opponents, announced that women would soon have the right to drive, and signaled plans for expanding the economy beyond its dependence on oil, including building a new $500 billion city. Although no one knows the prince’s motives, political scientists can point out that autocratic elites often use a wide array of strategies and policies as tools to help them remain in power.

In a forthcoming article in Comparative Political Studies, we argue that among the tools autocratic regimes use for this are welfare policies, offering benefits both to important regime collaborators and to potential threats. We use a new, global data set on social policies to test our hypotheses on what autocratic welfare states should look like, and how they work in practice. By examining old-age pensions, we find that autocracies are no less likely to introduce or have such programs than democracies. But autocracies’ pension programs are offered to fewer social groups — and offering these pensions does in fact keep autocratic regimes in power longer.

[Without Mugabe, is democracy coming to Zimbabwe? Probably not.]

The Saudi Arabian monarchy illustrates these general patterns quite well. In 2011, just after the Arab Spring’s social upheaval roiled the region, the regime increased public spending on, for instance, health care, education and social services — apparently to calm dissent and avoid a revolution. But autocrats are not concerned only about revolutions. They also fear grievances and dissent among their core supporters — and may use targeted welfare policies to avoid coups. In 2014, Saudi Arabia introduced unemployment insurance with benefits targeted only to key groups. The groups covered included private-sector employees and some public-sector employees. Conspicuously, those who did not get such benefits were workers less likely to threaten the regime, such as agricultural workers, fishermen, household workers, family laborers and foreign nationals. In doing so, Saudi Arabia built on an earlier pension system that basically covered — and excluded — the same groups.

Wait, how can welfare policies help keep autocracies in power?

In democracies, welfare policies often are considered key examples of redistributive policies that benefit the many in the lower and middle classes at the cost of a few wealthy people. Democratic politicians have strong incentives to introduce such welfare schemes to attract voters. But autocrats are not up for competitive reelection; why should they introduce welfare programs?

[No, not all social welfare programs were created equal — especially for women and men]

In autocracies, welfare programs serve a quite different function from redistribution to the poor, and throughout history many nondemocratic regimes have offered welfare programs. For instance, under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, imperial Germany put in programs such as accident protection in 1884, sickness insurance in 1883 and old-age pensions in 1889.

To take a comprehensive look at characteristics of welfare policies in autocracies and democracies around the world, we drew on several historical sources, including legislative studies published by the ILO and reports by the Labor Department. We constructed an extensive data set on major, nationwide transfer programs covering six social policy areas, 154 countries, and the years 1882—2010.


We found that autocracies are no less likely than democracies to introduce, or have, pension programs, but that these programs cover fewer social groups than in democracies.

Formalized pension programs help autocrats credibly commit to funneling resources — not just at the time but also into the future — to relatively powerful social groups that might otherwise threaten their hold on power. Unlike, say, irregular cash handouts, pension programs make promises of future payments relatively reliable. They have large costs sunk into building program administration and infrastructure, and offer a schedule of payments transparently coming at regular intervals. The powerful groups that the dictator needs support from — whether those are army officers or industrial workers — have good reason to refrain from supporting revolts or coups against a regime that guarantees a big pension check once they retire.

But do pension programs actually help autocrats stay in power?

The answer, in short, appears to be yes. We used our new data to check whether pension programs do make autocratic regimes more durable. We used different statistical models to assess the possible effects, taking into account that old-age pensions are not introduced at random. Our statistical models suggest a positive effect on regime survival. For instance, one of our models suggests that the Chinese regime in the year 2000 had about a 2 percent chance of breaking down — a probability that, according to the model, would have been above 10 percent without a Chinese pension system.

To be sure, these predictions are very uncertain. But our results do suggest that implementing targeted pension programs helps keep autocrats in power for longer.

[Worried about the decline in democracy? Worry about the politicians, not the voters.]

So why might the Saudi monarchy be distributing largesse in the form of welfare programs such as pensions to a very select class of workers? Because, like other autocrats, they’re hoping to stay in power by pacifying key groups. And these measures indeed seem to work as intended.

Carl Henrik Knutsen is a political-science professor at the University of Oslo.

Magnus Bergli Rasmussen is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo.


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  #233  
Old 12-06-2017, 02:38 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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BRAZIL

https://www.voanews.com/a/lawmaker-s...-/4149552.html
Quote:
Lawmaker: Support for Brazil's Pension Reform More Organized
Spoiler:
The government of Brazil's President Michel Temer is far from assembling the coalition needed to pass a landmark pension reform, but potential supporters of the measure are now more organized, a key legislator said on Monday.

"We're still enormously far (from having the needed votes), but we have a party leader committed, a party president committed, one party that's set to commit," Brazil's lower house speaker, Rodrigo Maia, told journalists after an event in Rio de Janeiro.

Pension reform is the cornerstone policy in President Temer's efforts to bring Brazil's deficit under control. But the measure is widely unpopular with Brazilians, who are accustomed to a relatively expansive welfare net.

In order to curry support from Congress, Temer and his allies watered down their original proposal in November, requiring fewer years of contributions by private sector workers to receive a pension.

According to several government sources, Temer's allies have grown more optimistic in the last week about the reform's chances.

However, speed is essential for the bill's passage. A congressional recess begins on Dec. 22, and lawmaking thereafter will be hampered by politics, as lawmakers ramp up their campaigns for 2018 elections.

https://www.reuters.com/article/emer...-idUSL1N1O50YP

Quote:
EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's Bovespa jumps as legislators organize behind pension bill
Spoiler:
SAO PAULO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
index led gains among Latin American equities markets on
Tuesday, as the governing coalition appeared closer to gaining
the votes needed to pass a pension reform.
The reform, seen as important to shoring up Brazil's fiscal
health, has been by far the dominant factor in the Bovespa's
performance for weeks.
Late on Monday, Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of Brazil's lower
house, told journalists that President Michel Temer was still
far from assembling the coalition needed to pass the reform, but
potential supporters were now far more organized than last
week.
Earlier on Tuesday, congressmen in Temer's Brazilian
Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) decided to ask the party
leadership to formalize support for the measure, a source told
Reuters. Other parties, in particular the Brazilian Social
Democracy Party (PSDB), are expected to decide on a similar step
soon.
"This is a day-to-day game and the position of the PSDB will
force other parties from the base to decide on formal support,"
analysts at Lerosa Investimentos wrote in a note to clients.
Brazil's Bovespa index had shot up 0.82 percent by
midday, while the nation's real currency jumped 0.42
percent.
As with a number of recent sessions, Chile's benchmark IPSA
index was the big loser as markets brace for a Dec. 17
second-round presidential vote, in which investor favorite
Sebastian Pinera will square off against center-left Alejandro
Guillier.
Late on Monday, hard-left Beatriz Sanchez, who came in third
in the first round vote, formally endorsed Guillier, as the
country's left shows more unity than political analysts
initially anticipated.
The IPSA had fallen 0.61 percent in midday trading,
while the nation's peso currency dropped 0.71 percent.
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  #234  
Old 12-07-2017, 05:22 PM
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BRAZIL

https://www.reuters.com/article/emer...-idUSL1N1O617Q

Quote:
EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil markets seesaw; all eyes on pension reform vote
Spoiler:
SAO PAULO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian markets seesawed on
Wednesday as the government rushed to gather lawmaker support
for a plan to streamline the social security system and curb
government debt.
A senior lawmaker in the government's coalition in the lower
house said he expected to have enough votes to pass the
constitutional amendment later on Wednesday, paving the way for
a vote next Tuesday.
Per his count, the bill had the support of about 260 votes,
well short of the 308 votes needed to pass the lower house.
"The market sees the government's efforts to put the pension
reform to vote this year as positive, but nothing's set in stone
so there's reason to be wary," said Felipe Pellegrini, a manager
at Banco Confidence.
The Brazilian real slipped 0.1 percent, while the
benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 0.5 percent.
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  #235  
Old 12-10-2017, 08:38 PM
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BRAZIL
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/brazil...20171208-00412
Quote:
Brazil president sees lower house pension reform vote Dec 18 week
Spoiler:
SAO PAULO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Friday that the pension reform bill that is "indispensable" to reduce the nation's budget deficit must be voted on this year in the lower house of Congress before the 2018 election year.

Speaking at a chemical industry event, Temer appealed to businessmen to lobby Congress for approval of the unpopular pension overhaul that is seen by investors as crucial to restoring Brazil's fiscal health.

Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house, said this week he would not put the bill to the vote until the government had secured the 308 votes the measure will need for passage.


Once it clears the lower chamber, Temer expects the legislation to be voted on in the Senate in February.

"Reform of the pension system is indispensable. It will allow Brazil to move forward," Temer said. "But this must be the work of all of us. We need to show that we support this bill."

Temer acknowledged that lawmakers facing re-election next October had legitimate concerns about supporting the bill.

The reform proposal seeks to increase the age at which Brazilians can retire and collect social security. It would also make pension payouts in Brazil, among the most generous in the world, more modest.

If a vote is further delayed until next year, its chances of approval will be limited as lawmakers become more sensitive to the demands of voters when the election campaign gets underway.

http://markets.businessinsider.com/n...orm-1010708295
Quote:
BRAZIL: Ibovespa Rises, But Worries Remain About Pension Reform
Spoiler:
(RTTNews) - Ibovespa, the benchmark stock index in Brazil, closed up 0.33% at 72,731.84 points Friday, tracking markets abroad and boosted by expectations on the pension reform's approval by the Brazilian House of Representatives still in 2017. However, the index lost strength near the end of the session as investors turned skeptical on the reform prospects. In the week, after strong volatility, the Ibovespa rose 0.65%.

"It's all speculation, and I believe that investors are becoming more skeptical. It would have to be very positive news for the market to reassure itself, but the possibilities are running out," said the economist Matheus Bantel, from Florença Investimentos.

Ignacio Crespo Rey, an economist at Guide Investimentos, recalls that although the minister's exit may help the government to lift votes from the political center, it also cast doubts about the PSDB behavior. The party is to hold a national convention during the weekend.

Meanwhile, the locally traded U.S. dollar closed up 0.27%, at R$ 3.296, driven by worries about the pension reform after Imbassahy's departure.

Over the next week, investors should continue to monitor the government's negotiations to approve the pension reform still this year.

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  #236  
Old 12-11-2017, 01:46 PM
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CHINA

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/chinas...20171210-00137

Quote:
China's pension funds struggling to cope with ageing population-state media
Spoiler:
BEIJING, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Thirteen pension funds in regions and administrative units around China only have enough money to pay less than one year's worth of pensions, media reported on Monday, as the country struggles with an ageing population and shortfalls in the nation's pension schemes.

Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hainan, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Qinghai, Heilongjiang and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps can all pay less than one year's worth of pensions to workers covered under the respective funds, the official Beijing News reported, citing China's 2016 Social Security Development Annual Report.

Guangdong province, which had the largest sum of accumulated pensions, can pay 55.7 months worth of pensions, according to the newspaper.


Total expenditures of China's urban workers' pension funds grew 23.4 percent on year to 3.19 trillion yuan while total incomes only grew 19.5 percent on year to 3.51 trillion yuan, the Beijing News said, citing the annual report.

At the end of 2016, China had more than 230 million people over the age of 60, deputy director of pension insurance at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security Jia Jiang said, according to the newspaper, adding that by 2050, the ratio of pensioners to workers will be 1:1.3.

China will begin a pilot programme this year to transfer shares in state-owned firms to social security funds. The plan is limited to a small number of central and provincial firms in an initial trial to start this year.

($1 = 6.6152 Chinese yuan renminbi)


http://www.scmp.com/news/china/polic...ves-provincial

Quote:
China’s rapidly greying population leaves provincial pension pots seriously short of cash
Ratio of workers to retirees fell to 2.8-to-one in 2016, with 13 regions now struggling to meet monthly contributions, official report says
Spoiler:
China’s provincial pension funds are rapidly running out of money, with the coffers in 13 jurisdictions down to less than a year’s worth of payments, local media reported on Sunday.

Among the worst affected is the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, where the local government has already begun dipping into its fiscal revenue to fund monthly pension payments, The Beijing News reported, citing an annual survey released recently by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

China’s greying society and uneven economic development have put enormous pressure on the nation’s social security scheme. Overall contributions to the national pension fund rose by 19.5 per cent, or 571 billion yuan (US$86.19 billion) last year, but payments grew by 23.4 per cent, or 604 billion yuan, according to the report.

It was the fifth consecutive year that the growth in spending had outpaced the expansion of funds.
While provinces are responsible for managing their own funds, the vast differences in prosperity levels from one region to the next means the system is unbalanced.

Authorities in affluent Guangdong province, for example, had enough money in their pot at the end of last year to cover almost five years’ worth of pension payments, the report said.
The problem for Heilongjiang is that in recent years the proportion of retirees has risen while the size of its workforce – and hence number of contributions to the pension fund – has plummeted.

The number of pensioners in the province rose to 4.57 million last year, from 2.68 million in 2010, according to national census figures. Similarly, in 2010, more than 3.2 million people left Heilongjiang in search of work elsewhere, nearly a third of whom were in the prime working age range of 30 to 39, the report said.
As a result, the provincial government was left with a 23.2 billion yuan shortfall in its pension fund last year.
According to Zhao Xijun, a finance professor at Beijing’s Renmin University, while a pension scheme could in theory continue to operate as long as its value remained higher than its outgoings, having a surplus provided security.

“The ideal scenario is for the scheme to be able to meet pension payments from the gains made by investing its surplus funds, he said.
“That also means it is never affected by a fall in the number of contributors.”
While the shortfalls in pension pots are a major concern for both the national and provincial governments, a more worrying concern is the country’s rapidly ageing population.
In 2011, taking a national average, each pensioner was supported by 3.1 workers, or contributors to the fund. By the end of last year, that ratio had fallen to 2.8-to-one, according to the ministry’s survey, adding that by 2050, it would be just 1.3-to-one.
“It is a very big drop from 3.1 to 2.8,” Zhao said. “With a greying society, the outlook is not optimistic.”
In Heilongjiang, the worker-pensioner ratio was 1.3-to-one at the end of last year, according to the survey, while in eight other province-level jurisdictions – Hubei, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Chongqing, Liaoning and Jilin – it was under two-to-one.


China’s pension scheme was set up in the 1990s, and the state retirement ages are now 50 for women and 60 for men. At the end of last year, 16.7 per cent of the population, or 230 million people, were aged over 60.

Aside from Heilongjiang, the 12 jurisdictions with less than one year’s payments left in their pension coffers include 11 provinces and regions – Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hainan, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Hebei, Tianjin, Liaoning and Jilin – and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp, a massive organisation that has authority over several towns in the western China region.


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  #237  
Old 12-12-2017, 11:54 AM
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CHINA

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/13-china...orth-pensions/

Quote:
13 China Pensions will Be Unable to Pay One Year’s Worth of Pensions
2050 pensioner-to-worker ratio will be 1:1.3, official says.
Spoiler:
As China battles its aging population and pension scheme shortfalls, 13 funds in regions and administrative units are unable to finance less than one year’s worth of retirement benefits, Reuters reports.

Citing China’s 2016 Social Security Development Annual Report, the official Beijing News reported that Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hainan, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Qinghai, Heilongjiang, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps are all currently in dire straits when it comes to the state of paying their beneficiaries, as each fund falls under the “less than one year’s worth” category.

One fund slightly better off than the others is Guangdong province, which can pay 55.7 months’ worth of pensions.

According to the report, the total expenditures of China’s urban employee pension funds increased 23.4% on year to 3.19 trillion yuan. At the same time, total incomes grew 19.5% to 3.51 trillion yuan.

Deputy Director of Pension Insurance at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security Jia Jiang told the Beijing News that China has more than 230 million people over age 60. In 2050, Jiang predicted the pensioner to worker ratio will be 1:1.3.

China will soon begin a pilot program to transfer shares in state-owned firms to social security funds, where the initial trial will limit the plan to small portion of central and provincial firms, Reuters reports.


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Old 12-13-2017, 10:27 PM
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BRAZIL
https://www.voanews.com/a/brazilian-...-/4158596.html
Quote:
Brazilian President: Pension Vote Could Be Delayed to Early 2018
Spoiler:
Brazilian President Michel Temer said a key vote on a bill streamlining the social security system could be delayed to early 2018 as the government struggles to gather support among lawmakers.

Speaking to journalists in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Temer said he was confident that the bill, seen as crucial to reining in government debt, would pass a lower house vote this year but negotiations will continue even if does not.

"If it's not this year, it will be in the beginning of next year," Temer said, according to a transcript of a news conference.

His remarks struck a more flexible tone than his statements last week, when he said he would not even consider delaying the vote to 2018. Presidential and congressional elections next year, seen as the most wide open in decades, could make it even harder for Temer's administration to pass the unpopular measure.

Temer agreed with lower house leaders last week to vote on the constitutional amendment during the week of Dec. 18, the last before the Christmas recess. Approval in the lower house would send the reform to a final Senate vote.

The reform proposal seeks to increase the age at which Brazilians can retire and collect social security. It would also make pension payouts in Brazil, among the most generous in the world, more modest.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...KBN1E52CH?il=0
Quote:
Passing pension bill in 2018 would be hard: Brazil minister
Spoiler:
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s planning minister on Monday acknowledged the possibility of delaying a key vote on a bill cutting social security spending to 2018 but said its approval would be difficult then, an election year.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's Planning Minister Dyogo Henrique de Oliveira gestures during a news conference in Brasilia, Brazil June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Speaking at an event in Brasília, Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira said lawmakers must pass the unpopular bill, which curtails the costly pension system, or risk endangering the nation’s fiscal situation.
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-b...-idUSKBN1E62LL

Quote:
Brazil Pension Reform Has One Week to Pass or Slip to 2018
Spoiler:
BRASILIA (Reuters) - A proposal to overhaul Brazil’s costly social security system will be put to a vote within the next week if it has enough support, President Michel Temer said on Tuesday, adding that otherwise it will have to be left for next year.

FILE PHOTO - Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles speaks during a forum hosted by the news magazine Veja in Sao Paulo, Brazil November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto
Speaking to business leaders, Temer warned that Brazil would have to make painful cuts in public spending like Portugal did if it puts off reform of a pension system that is unsustainable for public finances.

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Temer has had to reduce the extent of the unpopular measure to get it through Congress, but said the current version would still save the Treasury 600 million reais ($180 million) a year, down from 800 million reais in an earlier plan.

Investors are watching closely for progress on the bill, which many consider crucial to reining in Brazil’s surging public debt. 2018 is an election year and the unpopular bill may face more push back from lawmakers seeking re-election.




Brazil’s currency, the real BRBY, slipped as much as 1 percent on Tuesday, flirting with its weakest levels in nearly half a year.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles called the overhaul essential to bringing a huge budget deficit under control.

At the same gathering, Meirelles said social security was consuming 50 percent of government spending and warned that it would rise to 80 percent in 10 years if nothing was done.

Earlier in Sao Paulo, Meirelles said he expected debate on the pension reform bill to start in the lower house of Congress on Thursday followed by a vote next week, the last before Christmas recess.

Speaker Rodrigo Maia warned that Temer’s government was still short of the three-fifths super majority, or 308 votes, needed to pass the pension bill. He called it suicide to go ahead with a planned Dec. 18 vote without the votes in hand.

The latest survey of lawmakers by political consultancy Arko Advice shows that Temer still needs to secure some 35 votes.

The bill proposes increasing the age at which Brazilians can retire and collect social security. It would also make pension payouts in Brazil, among the most generous in the world, more modest, and particularly for public-sector employees.

The bill must be approved twice in each of both chambers. Its approval in the Senate is expected to be easier.

($1 = 3.31 reais)
http://markets.businessinsider.com/n...ars-1010989422

Quote:
BRAZIL: Ibovespa Closes Slightly Higher, Restrained By Pension Reform Fears
Spoiler:
(RTTNews) - Ibovespa, the benchmark stock market index in Brazil, closed slightly higher (+0.09%) at 72,800.04 points Monday as investors remained cautious about a potential delay in the pension reform bill vote.

Earlier, the index fell, reflecting pessimistic statements by the House Speaker Rodrigo Maia about the reform and fears about an attempted terrorist attack in New York. But then the Ibovespa rose again.

Investment analyst Glauco Legat from Spinelli Corretora said the Ibovespa has shown higher volatility, a trend that may continue in the next few days, reflecting the negotiations on the pension reform.

However, the market has already begun to price in a vote postponement. Next week the government will have its last window to vote on the bill this year as the Congressional recess approaches.

"A few weeks ago there was a stronger perception that the reform would be approved. We believe that [the bill] will not pass [a House vote], but if it does it would be a good trigger for the stock market to gain momentum," the analyst said.

Among the positive highlights of the trading session were Vale's shares (+0.99%) and steelmakers, such as Usiminas (+3.35%). On the negative side, the largest losses were seen in the education sector, with Estácio (-4.61%).

The locally traded U.S. dollar went through another session marked by volatility, once again influenced by investors' fears with the pension reform and also by the external scenario. The greenback ended up 0.06%, quoted at R$ 3,298 for sale, after operating a good part of the day in the negative field.

In the coming days, the market must remain attentive to the negotiations on the pension reform bill. Still, in the domestic market, the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) are expected Tuesday.

However, for Luana Nunes, an analyst at Toro Radar, there are no more relevant events scheduled to occur until the end of the year, which may bring lower trading volume to the stock exchange.

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Old 12-14-2017, 04:38 PM
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BRAZIL

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN1E72US

Quote:
Brazil government still eyeing pension vote next week: minister

Spoiler:
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian government is still working toward holding a lower house vote on its landmark pension overhaul bill next week, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Wednesday, contradicting earlier remarks by a senior senator.

Romero Jucá, the government’s leader in the Senate, had earlier said that lower house lawmakers had agreed to delay the vote on the unpopular bill to February, close to next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN1E72SG

Quote:
Brazil's pension overhaul vote delayed to February: senator

Spoiler:
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s lower house of Congress delayed to February a vote on a plan to streamline the social security system, the government’s leader in the Senate Romero Jucá said on Wednesday.

The government had previously hoped that the lower house would vote on the unpopular bill, seen as key to curbing the government’s fiscal deficit, in 2017.


https://money.usnews.com/investing/n...n-reform-fails

Quote:
Brazilian Senator Casts Doubt on Pension Vote This Year

Spoiler:
BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian Congress vote on a major pension overhaul has been postponed to next year, the government's Senate leader said on Wednesday, although cabinet ministers said they were still looking to hold the vote next week.

Senator Romero Jucá said President Michel Temer had not secured enough lower house support for the unpopular overhaul of Brazil's costly social security system. The vote would be held in February after the Christmas recess, he said, although an extraordinary session could be held earlier in January.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, however, insisted that the government was still working toward holding the lower house vote next week. Senator Jucá, he said, was only "expressing his opinion" on the matter.

The legislation, which is aimed at lowering the cost of the bloated pension system, is considered vital for Temer's efforts to bring Brazil's huge budget deficit under control.


Winning approval for the bill is expected to be harder next year, as general elections approach in October. Lawmakers fighting for their seats are concerned about voters' anger over the bill's attempt to make payouts more modest and raise the retirement age.

Investors fear that a failure to pass the bill could weaken the currency and stock market, while boosting interest rates and possibly fueling new credit rating downgrades for Brazil next year.

Meirelles, a former banker who has vowed to restore health to Brazil's government accounts, insisted on Wednesday that the bill should be put to the vote as soon as possible. Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira said he was unaware of any agreement to delay the vote.

But Jucá said the needed votes were not there, even though support for the bill had increased.

Lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia, who has refused to call a vote until the government had secured the necessary three-fifths majority of 308 votes, also said backbench support for the bill had improved.

The Brazilian Social Democratic Party, Brazil's third largest, announced its support on Wednesday, instructing its 46 lawmakers to back the bill.

ECONOMY SUFFERING?

Temer has warned that the economy would suffer if the pension bill is not passed. In a speech on Wednesday morning, he said cutting back Brazil's generous pension system will be more painful to do if left to the next president, due to take office in January 2019.

"If we do not reform pensions now, in two years' time it will have to be done more radically," he said, in a speech seeking support from mayors for the bill.

"The economy could react negatively if we do not succeed in passing pension reform," he said.

Temer canceled meetings aimed at shoring up support as he flew to Sao Paulo for a medical check later on Wednesday.

The bill must be approved twice in both chambers. Its approval in the Senate is expected to be easier.


https://www.ai-cio.com/news/brazilia...form-february/

Quote:
Brazilian Congress May Push Pension Reform to February
President Temer warns of negative economy if reform is not done swiftly.
Spoiler:
The Brazilian government is going back and forth on whether or not it should still hold a lower house vote on the voting of a reform bill concerning its social security and pension system to February 2018], Reuters reports.

Although the call was made on Wednesday to delay the vote to February by Senate leader Romero Jucá. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles later said the government was still working on holding a vote in Brazil’s lower house of Congress next week.

Earlier in the day, President Michel Temer warned that if his controversial bill is not approved by Congress, the country’s economy could suffer dramatically.

“If we do not reform pensions now, in two years’ time it will have to be done more radically,” he said in a bill support speech to hundreds of mayors], Reuters reports. “The economy could react negatively if we do not succeed in passing pension reform.”

The bill looks to increase the retirement and social security collection age to cut the country’s tremendous budget deficit. In addition, private sector workers will require a contribution minimum of 15 years, while retiring public service employees will require a 25-year minimum. To receive full benefits, workers will also require 40 years of service.

If the bill officially gets pushed back to 2018, it will become more difficult for a reform, as next year is an election year for Brazil.

The bill must be approved twice in both chambers to pass, with a Senate vote expected to be easier.


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Old 12-15-2017, 06:54 AM
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ARGENTINA

http://abcnews.go.com/International/...eform-51796384

Quote:
Clashes rage as Argentine lawmakers suspend pension debate

Spoiler:
Police firing tear gas and rubber bullets clashed with stick-wielding protesters throwing rocks outside Congress on Thursday, leading lawmakers to suspend debate on reining in Argentina's pensions.

Union leaders and social activists opposing the proposal said the legislation would cut pension and retirement payments as well as aid for some of poor families starting in March.

The measure had been scheduled to be voted on in the lower Chamber of Deputies on Thursday, but the session was suspended indefinitely as opposition and governing party lawmakers yelled at each other inside the chamber while riot police fought with protesters in nearby streets.

"If the government has a fiscal problem, it should resolve it without putting a hand in the pockets of the pensioners," opposition lawmaker said Agustin Rossi, adding that he had been engulfed by tear gas.

Argentina's largest union threatened to call a general strike if the measure was approved.

The bill, which already passed the Senate, is part of a series of economic changes pushed by the government of President Mauricio Macri to reduce Argentina's high deficit.

"We're convinced that this project is good and it reflects the will of the majority of the parliament," Cabinet Chief Marcos Pena later said at a news conference at the presidential palace. "We feel that this law must be passed this way."

Macri took office in December 2015 promising to cut bloated government spending and revive Argentina's struggling economy. But his ordering of job cuts, the elimination of tariffs aimed at protecting local industry and the slashing of utility subsidies have fueled labor unrest in a nation with a long tradition of generous state jobs and benefits.

"We're not willing to take this. The people are going through bad times and we don't deserve this," said Monica de Albuquerque, a retiree who joined in the protests.

She said it will be a "total disaster" if Macri's government goes ahead with the pension measure as well as proposals to reduce taxes and ease labor rules companies must observe.


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