Mexico to Double Pension Benefits, Reduce Retirement Age

President Obrador’s latest move seeks to continue mayoral mission.

Mexico’s new leftist president stuck to his promises, making changes to the nation’s pension system in favor of its beneficiaries.

Andrés Manuel Lépez Obrador said Sunday he will increase the amount of money he will pay to elderly pensioners and also lower the retirement age.

“We will distribute between 300 [billion] and 500 billion pesos from the Federal Treasury to people directly without going through any administrative office of the government,” he said in a statement.

Starting Monday, Mexicans who receive small government pensions will now earn 2,550 pesos, or $133, every other month, nearly double the amount from last year. They will also be allowed to collect these benefits at age 65, rather than 68.

“How much did you receive until last year? One thousand 160. Now it’s double, two thousand 550. And this whole month will continue to be delivered,” said the president.

The president expects 8.5 million citizens to be enrolled in the retirement program by the end of February.

“We started with the cards that we already had, but since we are doing a house-by-house census, we will also include pensioners and retirees who did not receive this support, now they will receive it,” he said.

Acting on recommendations from the World Bank, the country’s pension system changed in 1997 from a pay-as-you-go plan to the fully funded private and mandatory defined contribution plan it is today. Chile’s pension overhauls in the early 1980s served as Mexico’s template.

Ariadna  Montiel Reyes, the undersecretary of welfare, said that the pension universalization was an extension of President Obrador’s thinking from his days as the mayor of Mexico City in 2000.

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