Brazil government wants to save $356 billion with pension reform: Report

Change vital to undo growing fiscal deficit, say economists

Brazil government wants to save $356 billion with pension reform: Report
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro salutes as he attends a swearing-in ceremony for the country's new army commander in Brasilia, on Jan. 11. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) — Far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's new government wants to save 1 trillion reais (C$356 billion) over 10 years via pension reforms economists say are vital to undo the growing fiscal deficit, a Brazilian newspaper reported on Monday.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain who has surrounded himself with generals and liberal economists as top advisers, made pension reform a staple of his campaign. But he has given few details before his inauguration or as president.

He talked in one interview about modestly raising retirement age, only to be contradicted by advisers the next day.

The details of the plan, as reported by newspaper Valor Economico, would be more aggressive than the one presented by Bolsonaro's predecessor, Michel Temer, who sought to save 800 billion reais, the newspaper reported.

Measures would include stricter eligibility requirements for public employees, including teachers and policemen.

Brazil, which only has a public pension structure, would also create a private system. But this new private plan would only be meant for workers who are both young and affluent, the newspaper said.

The whole reform package could take 10 to 20 years, it reported.

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