Brazil's Congress set to reject Temer's pension reform: survey

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer’s landmark pension reform would not pass the Lower House of Congress at it stands, according to a survey of lawmakers published by newspaper Estado de S.Paulo on Wednesday.

Not even a watered-down version of the constitutional amendment, which is considered key for Brazil to plug a widening budget gap, would muster enough votes to clear the house, the daily said.

The reform, submitted last year to Congress, sets a minimum age of retirement for both women and men of 65 years and demands more years on the job for workers to gain full pension benefits.

Those points and others to limit benefits are criticized by lawmakers who face elections next year and are calling to ease some requirements that are already facing stiff resistance from unions and public servants.

Brazil’s pension system is one of the world’s most generous and expensive with many workers retiring in their early 50s with full benefits.

A watered-down proposal would be rejected by 242 lawmakers with only 92 in favor, the survey shows. The amendment needs 308, or three-fifths of the house, to pass.

A special lower house committee is expected to vote on the proposal this month before it heads to the floor.

Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by James Dalgleish