The Brazilian government on Wednesday altered rules for its PIS/Pasep savings program to allow senior citizens automatic access to individual accounts. The decision is designed to release a large portion of the funds into the economy as a way to stimulate consumer spending. Under rules published Wednesday, all PIS/Pasep account holders over 65, for males, and over 62, for females, will be able to access their individual accounts. Access will become available starting in October. A similar decision earlier this year made available some R$46 billion in funds previously locked up in individual unemployment insurance accounts. Under Wednesday’s plan, some R$16 billion in PIS/Pasep funds will be freed up for access by senior citizens. PIS/Pasep funds were collected from employers for many years and placed in individual accounts for their employees. Under current rules, the funds are only available to account holders under extraordinary circumstances such as a major illness. The main purpose of Wednesday’s decision is to kick start Brazil’s sluggish economy by boosting consumer demand.
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