Chile - President Michelle Bachelet has made pension reform a top priority after announcing a 10% pensions increase at a cost of CLP97.5bn (US$183m).
Bachelet, in just her first month as president, said she would “soon” send Congress a bill that would increase supplementary pensions, minimum pensions and transitional pensions. The bill would benefit more than 1.2 million citizens, and would go to Congress as soon as deputies and senators finished working in their districts, she said.
The bill will see minimum pensions for seniors over 75 placed at just over CLP100 000 per month. The current pension fluctuates between CLP80 000 CLP93 176.
I would like to announce that we are sending a bill to Congress with two goals: the first is to increase the lowest pensions, and the second is to guarantee to everyone who qualifies the right to a supplementary pension without having to wait for it, she said.
Bachelet said she wanted a basis for a “great social welfare system that would include all Chileans” by 2010, and added the current measure was financed by the current 2006 budget, and the current tax structure.
“So we are confident and sure that we are going to be able to meet our goal,” she said.
By Damian Clarkson
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