(Adds report details and context)
BRASILIA Dec 9 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
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
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
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)