LatinNews Daily - 16 April 2021

In brief: IMF criticises Chile’s pension withdrawal initiative

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has criticised plans to authorise a third pensions withdrawal in Chile – a measure supported by congress to help the population weather the impacts of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – calling the initiative unnecessary and inappropriate. Speaking during a press conference on the regional economic outlook in Latin America and the Caribbean, Alejandro Werner, the IMF's Director of the Western Hemisphere Department, said that Chile is expected to be one of the first economies in the region to recover from the Covid-19 crisis and exhibit economic growth above 2019 levels, and that a third pensions withdrawal is therefore “not necessary and...not the appropriate vehicle”, as it would incur “institutional and medium-term costs”, and also fails to focus resources on the most needy. Werner’s comments came on the same day that Chile’s chamber of deputies voted in favour of authorising a third one-time withdrawal of up to 10% from privatised pension pots, with the initiative now being sent to the senate. The government led by President Sebastián Piñera opposes the measure and has said it will challenge it in the constitutional court (TC).