A key congressman on Wednesday unveiled a compromise plan for sweeping reforms to Brazil’s bankrupt retirement system. Congressman Arthur Maia presented his version of the plan to fellow members of a special Chamber of Deputies committee dealing with pension reform. Maia worked out the plan in conjunction with congressional leaders and members of President Michel Temer’s administration. The plan is less draconian in setting retirement limits than the original Temer administration proposal. The changes came after intense lobbying by citizens groups, opposition political parties and labor unions. The compromise plan reduces the standard retirement for women to 62 from the 65 originally proposed by the government. It creates more liberal retirement rules for certain professions such as teachers and police and it loosens some of the rules suggested by Temer for a transition period to the new system. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said the compromise version would reduce the savings estimated under the original plan by about 20 percent. However, he endorsed the compromise, saying the changes were needed to assure congressional passage. The administration proposed the sweeping reform as a way to rein in out-of-control government spending while saving the system from total bankruptcy over the long term. A committee vote on the plan is expected by early May.
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