Brazil Pension Reform Could Hit Lower House by Tuesday

President Bolsonaro looking to get overhaul en route to Senate before Congress’ mid-year recess.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro could see his pension reform reach the National Congress’ lower house as early as Tuesday, according to the body’s leader, Rodrigo Maia.

Last week, the overhaul proposal passed in a congressional hearing, keeping investors and Bolsonaro alike happy. It can now move to the lower house of Parliament, where two successful voting rounds will send it to the Senate.

The retirement changes are one of the president’s top priorities. He introduced the overhaul in February, shortly after taking office. The plan aims to save billions for Brazil’s social security system by implementing a minimum retirement age and toughening the requirements to access the benefits.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes estimates a proper reform would save as much as 3 trillion reis ($783 billion) over 20 years.

The bill has seen various delays and amendments, but Bolsonaro is hoping it can still be passed this year. He’s at least hoping it will get past the lower house before lawmakers take their mid-year break later this month.

After a weekend of talks with leaders, Maia said he expected a Tuesday vote, according to Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house.

“Brazil has almost 10 million Brazilians living below the poverty line, it is not possible that a country with so many opportunities and so much wealth and wealth is concentrated in the hands of few people,” he said, adding that reform is “the first step” toward balancing the economy.

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