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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 Yesterday, 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 Today, 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)


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