Under government’s pension reform proposal, many blacks will never be able to retire; with life expectancy, many will die first

retirement reform

Note from BW of Brazil: Black activists in Brazil have long argued that abolition of slavery nearly 131 years ago was an incomplete abolition. That is because,in many ways, the life conditions of the black population didn’t change much the day after slavery ended, and still today we still see factors in the quality of life of black Brazilians that hark back to that era. The reforms suggested by the current Bolsonaro Administration are just reminders of how Brazil has always dealt with black people. 

For months now there have been debates over how the new anti-crime bill proposal could accelerate the genocide of the black population as well as how new proposed changes to the pension plan  would actually deny most black people the right to retire. You see, in Brazil, a large percentage of the black population work in the informal economy, which means they don’t have official work contracts and thus, by working “under the table”, they don’t make any contributions to their own social security savings. 

As we saw in a recent report, attaining employment in Brazil’s official job market can be more difficult for the black population and even though they usually begin working in the informal job market much faster than whites, and more difficulty getting official jobs, they live in the precarious situation of usually working more years, but because they earn less money and informal work provides no benefits, they usually have little or nothing to show for their years of service.

In many ways, this similar to the slavery era where black men and women would be simply worked to death and when they died they were simply replaced. Of course the government would never admit to such intentions but read the article below and come to your own conclusion.

Bolsonaro - reforms
President Bolsonaro’s pension reforms could make it so that many black Brazilians can never retire

Pension reform proposed by the Government will hurt the black population

Courtesy of Notícia Preta

By requiring that the minimum retirement age be 65 years and 20 full years of contribution, the government directly impacts the black population, since 46% of black workers in Brazil are outside of the formal market and will not be able to prove the full 20 years of contribution by the time of reaching the age of 65. In addition, racism, social and wages differences reduce black people’s life expectancy.  According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), on average, whites live 73 years, while blacks die sooner at age 67. Since the proposal to receive full retirement establishes a minimum age of 62 for women and 65 for men, most blacks will not be able to retire.

This is the conclusion of the study produced by economists Eduardo Moreira, Paulo Kliass and Eduardo Fagnani: 44 coisas que você precisa saber sobre a reforma da Previdência (44 things you need to know about Social Security reform).

The increase of 5 years in the minimum contribution time means for most workers 12 more years of work.

According to an IBGE study, the black population suffers most from poverty, unemployment and informality in Brazil. 68.6% of the jobs with a formal work contract are occupied by white people. In other words, there are more blacks who perform informal work, consequently they have less contribution time than a white worker and with the pension reform they will retire later. But as their life expectancy is lower, there is a risk of the black dying working and never having access to the retirement that he contributed to throughout his active life.

The increase of 5 years in the minimum time of contribution means, for a large part of the workers, 12 more years of work – since in Brazil 42% of the insured can prove on average only 4.9 months of contribution per year.

Women, because of gender bias, tend to have a shorter career and contribute less time than men. Their wages are also lower and their life expectancy longer. They would be directly affected by this reform.

Continuous Provision Benefit (BPC)

Another point that directly affects the poorest in this reform is the reduction in the amounts paid called Benefício de Prestação Continuada (Continuous Provision Benefit) (BPC). The benefit corresponds to a minimum wage paid to the elderly and people with disabilities who prove that they cannot afford to support themselves. To be entitled, the income per person of the beneficiary family must be up to 1/4 of the minimum wage.

The proposed reform of the Social Security of the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) provides for a reduction in the BPC, with payment of R$ 400 from the age of 60 – less than half of the minimum wage (R$ 998), which would be paid in full only from the age of 70.

Taking the BPC away from these people, what will happen if this reform passes, can mean the anticipation of their death. Studies indicate that individuals who receive BPC have one to four years more healthy life expectancy.

Social security reform will not help in national growth and will not eliminate privileges.

The government’s argument that the population will grow old and that in 2060 we will have few active workers (taxpayers) for many retirees is not justifiable.  “This is because it is not only the active worker who finances Social Security, but also the employers and the government through general taxes,” say the economists who conducted the study.

Social security reform will not help in national growth and will not eliminate privileges. On the contrary, the poor will become poorer and consequently the national economy will shrink.

The case of rural workers is even more serious. PEC 6/2019 equates the minimum age between men and women, “fostering an already unequal condition of gender in the field, by ignoring that they “have a hard unpaid day, taking care of the house and the family, and working with the land.” With this reform the rural exodus can increase and aggravate the misery and violence in the big cities.

Source: Notícia Preta 

 

About Marques Travae 3109 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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