Based on research conducted by the National Confederation of Shopkeepers (CNDL) and SPC Brazil, most Brazilians support the pension reform. The proportion, according to the survey organizers, is seven supporters in each group of ten surveyed.
The survey listened to 800 people aged 18 and over in the 26 states and DF. The opening of the survey shows that 40% of respondents consider the equalization between public and private sector workers to be correct. Of the total respondents, 44% believe that pension reform will be fully approved later this year.
Social Security totaled a total of $290.3 billion in 2018 alone, according to official data. Brazilians are not indifferent to the problem. So much so that 78% are following, to some extent, discussions about the new retirement rules, with 31% being fully aware of the issue and 47% following only in part.
“While there is controversy over the possible effects of social security reform on different strata of society, it is a fact that the federally and state-funded retirement regime is heading for complete bankruptcy in the coming years if nothing is done. By creating space to reduce Social Security spending, the explosive trajectory of the current public debt is expected to be interrupted and, with greater security and balance in the macroeconomic scenario, investors will regain the confidence necessary to resume investments,” defends CNDL president, José Cesar da Costa.
According to the survey, 44% believe that pension reform will be fully approved later this year. While pension reform is seen as necessary by most respondents, its content is controversial: more than a quarter (26%) agree with the way the changes were proposed in Congress.
On the other hand, women are the majority among 46% who believe in the need for reform, but do not agree with how it has been presented. Only 18% see no need for reform, while another 10% could not say. Among respondents, 44% believe that the pension reform will be fully approved later this year, while 28% think the text will not be approved anytime soon and 27% could not say.
The main reason given by supporters of changes in the pension scheme is to eliminate disparities between public and private employees (50%), making the system more fair and equitable. Four out of ten (39%) believe that the aging of the Brazilian population puts at risk the guarantee of benefit for future generations, 33% bet on the possibility of rebalancing public accounts and increasing investor confidence in the country and 25% believe that the reform will help the government raise more money to invest in areas of improvement for the population, such as health and education. Another 25% think that the changes will prevent the payment of new taxes created to maintain Social Security.
The end of inequality is the focus among Brazilians who advocate the need for reform, even if there are changes in the proposal: almost half (49%) advocate increasing the contribution to the INSS for people who receive higher wages. This is the item in the current proposal under discussion in Congress that respondents consider most important.
Already 40% consider equating between public and private sector workers, 32% advocate the end of the accumulation of benefits and 28% agree with the minimum age proposed by the government, 65 for men and 62 for women. However, on average, respondents consider that the average Brazilian should retire at 59 years.
Although most Brazilians interviewed already recognize the need for pension reform, 81% identify some negative aspect in the government’s proposal. One of the points that generates the most rejection is the increase in working time (40%), especially among women (46%). Other aspects pointed out were the change of rules for those who were about to retire in the next years (30%), the chances of the money raised being corrupted (30%) and the possibility of untying the benefits with the minimum wage, which would increase the number of older people earning less (27%).
Regardless of the end result, discussions about the changes in Social Security led 52% of Brazilians to change the way they act and think about it. Three out of ten respondents reinforced the importance given to retirement planning (29%), 21% have now saved money to retire, and 13% are considering anticipating retirement so as not to be hampered by the new rules. On the other hand, 31% still think the same, mainly because they have not thought about it (13%) and do not think that the reform will actually happen (8%).