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Lessons from Pension Reform in the Americas$
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Stephen J. Kay and Tapen Sinha

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226801.001.0001

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Pensions in Brazil: Reaching the Limits of Parametric Reform in Latin America *

Pensions in Brazil: Reaching the Limits of Parametric Reform in Latin America *

(p.286) Chapter 11 Pensions in Brazil: Reaching the Limits of Parametric Reform in Latin America*
Lessons from Pension Reform in the Americas

Milko Matijascic

Stephen J. Kay

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Brazil's social security system and the highly contentious reform process. While much of the rest of the South American region moved toward individual accounts, Brazil engaged in parametric reforms. Recently, the country introduced the fator previdenci ário, a system akin to a notional DC system, whereby contributions and benefits are strictly linked but contributions do not go into individual-funded savings accounts. Although a few political leaders have favoured private accounts, individual accounts never received much political support, and the transition costs are considered potentially prohibitive, reaching as high as 201% of GDP. Structural reform is complicated by the fact that the social security system is codified in the 1988 constitution, which means that any structural reform needs to go through the laborious and politically costly constitutional amendment process. It is argued that administrative and legislative reforms that would make the system more efficient and equitable are possible even when support for constitutional reform is lacking.

Keywords:   Social Security system, pension reform, individual accounts, parametric reforms

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