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The Brazilian Pension System: Recent Reforms and Challenges Ahead


  • Marcos Bonturi


Brazil’s public pension expenditure is about 9 per cent of GDP, above the OECD average. Given that OECD countries are generally not only wealthier, but also significantly older, Brazil’s pension expenditures are clearly excessive, draining resources away from other areas, such as much needed social investment in health and education. Beyond its fiscal impact, the Brazilian pension system is also unjust. About half of total pension expenditure is paid to former civil servants, which account for only 5 per cent of total retirees. Given the demographic challenges Brazil is likely to face in the next decades, authorities have started to implement a series of reforms. The general regime available to private sector workers underwent major changes in 1999, which will help ensure its long-term actuarial and financial balance. However, problems remain concerning the growth of the informal economy, the weight of non-pension benefits financially imputed to the regime and the mechanisms for ... Le système de pensions brésilien : Réformes récentes et défis à venir Les dépenses publiques au titre des pensions au Brésil représentent environ 9 pour cent du PIB, pourcentage qui dépasse la moyenne de l’OCDE. Si l’on tient compte de la jeunesse de la population brésilienne et de son moindre niveau de revenu par rapport à la moyenne des pays de l'OCDE, ces dépenses sont clairement excessives et c’est autant de ressources qui ne vont pas à d’autres affectations, comme l’investissement dans la santé et l’éducation, pourtant fort nécessaire. Au-delà de son impact fiscal, le système de pensions brésilien est aussi injuste. Environ la moitié des dépenses publiques au titre des pensions est versée aux anciens fonctionnaires, qui ne constituent pourtant qu’environ 5 pour cent de l’ensemble des retraités. Tenant compte des pressions démographiques que le Brésil aura vraisemblablement à effronter dans les décennies à venir, les autorités ont commencé à introduire une série des réformes. Le régime général, applicable aux travailleurs du secteur privé, a subi ...

Suggested Citation

  • Marcos Bonturi, 2002. "The Brazilian Pension System: Recent Reforms and Challenges Ahead," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 340, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:340-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Glomm, Gerhard & Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung, 2009. "Macroeconomic implications of early retirement in the public sector: The case of Brazil," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 777-797, April.
    2. Bernardo Lanza Queiroz & Moema Gonçalves Bueno Figoli, 2011. "Population aging and the rising costs of public pension in Brazil," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td438, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    3. Gerhard Glomm & Jürgen Jung & Changmin Lee & Chung Tran, 2005. "Public Pensions and Capital Accumulation: The Case of Brazil," CESifo Working Paper Series 1539, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Gerhard Glomm & Juergen Jung & Changmin Lee & Chung Tran, 2009. "Public Sector Pension Policies and Capital Accumulation in Emerging Economies," Discussion Papers 2009-10, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

    More about this item


    ageing; ajustement fiscal; Brazil; Brésil; civil servants; fiscal adjustment; fiscal federalism; fonctionnaires; fédéralisme fiscal; pension reform; pension system; replacement ratios; réforme des pensions; social security; système de pensions; sécurité sociale; taux de remplacement; vieillissement;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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