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BRASILIA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government on Friday denied local media reports that President Michel Temer is willing to lower the minimum age of retirement of 65 years in his pension reform proposal.
Temer’s office said in a statement that the proposed minimum age was key in the reform and that the government, along with its allies in Congress, would do everything in its power to prevent any changes to the measure.
Temer has proposed setting a minimum retirement age and cutting benefits of what is considered one of the world’s most generous pension systems, which has become a heavy burden to the government’s coffers.
Newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo reported Temer would reconsider its proposal for higher age and working time thresholds for retirement to win union endorsement for the unpopular reform.
Unions also want the government to reconsider a proposal that would link the minimum retirement age threshold to life expectancy metrics, which would make it harder for Brazilians to retire early if living standards keep improving, the newspaper reported.
Pension reform is considered the cornerstone of Temer’s drive to plug a widening budget deficit, which investors say is crucial to reviving confidence during the worst recession in more than eight decades.
On Tuesday, Temer submitted the constitutional amendment proposal to Congress, where it is expected to face a lengthy and heated debate that could last until late next year. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Reese Ewing; Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)