Brazil Congress passes landmark pension reform

Brazil Congress passes landmark pension reform
The Senate holds a final vote on pension reform in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. The most meaningful impact of the reform is the establishment of a minimum age for retirement at 65 for men and 62 for women. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s Congress has approved an overhaul to its pension system, capping years of stalled efforts to rein in unsustainable government spending on retirement.

The Senate voted 60-19 Tuesday to approve changes for civil servants and private-sector workers.

The most meaningful change sets a minimum retirement age of 65 for men and 62 for women. That’s up from averages of 56 and 53, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The overhaul takes aim at a swelling deficit in Brazil’s pension system, which a research firm says accounts for some 40% of total federal spending.

That load has grown along with life expectancy, and an analyst says Brazil will save about $190 billion over the next decade as a result of the reform.