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LatinNews Daily - 07 September 2021

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In brief: Chile’s Piñera presents bill to increase pension coverage

* Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has unveiled a bill which seeks to reform the basic pension coverage for Chileans. The bill, which will be presented as an urgent proposal to be fast-tracked in congress, comes as a government-opposed initiative to allow Chileans to make a fourth withdrawal from their pension pot is advancing through the chamber of deputies. This newly unveiled bill proposes three measures. First, an increase of the basic solidarity pension (PBS), which goes to poorer pensioners without any other source of income, to Cl$177,000 (US$229) monthly, up from Cl$164,000, “so that all of Chile’s pensioners have pensions above the poverty line”. Second, an increase in the coverage of the solidarity pension contribution (APS), a benefit provided by the state to those with the lowest pensions, from 60% to 80% of pensioners. And third, to ensure that for unemployed people, pension contributions and contributions towards the death and disability insurance are covered by unemployment benefits. Piñera has stressed that “this proposal especially favours women, the middle class and workers with gaps in their [pension] contributions, and improves the pensions of nearly 2m Chileans”. This urgent bill builds on a partially-approved government-proposed pension reform, part of which has been stuck in the senate for two years.