Brazil raises cap for monthly pension payments

pension payments
Photo: Leonidas Santana/Shutterstock

The Jair Bolsonaro administration announced a 10-percent bump to the ceiling for monthly pension payments this Thursday, now valued at just over BRL 7,000 (USD 1,295) — the equivalent of almost six times the minimum wage. The changes will be enforced in February.

The hike was calculated according to the INPC consumer price index, measured based on the basic basket of goods and services purchased by the lowest-income population. Used to adjust salaries for inflation, it ended 2021 at 10.16 percent.

The government distributes 36 million pension payments each month. The Brazilian Constitution establishes that no beneficiary can receive less than the minimum wage. According to the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), that helped prevent a hunger calamity during monetary crises in the early 1990s. Commenting on the payment floor, the late Congressman Plínio de Arruda Sampaio said it also changed the place of senior citizens within lower-income families, taking them from financial burdens to breadwinners.