Argentina passes pension reform despite civil unrest

Argentina’s ruling party approved controversial pension legislation on December 19 despite violent protests which left at least 100 injured. After more than 12 hours of debate, 128 members of the country’s congress voted in favor of the bill with 116 against. 

The new law will reduce pension payments to individuals. It will also move the retirement age from 65 to 70 for men and from 60 to 63 for women. Another change is that the calculation for pension benefits will be determined by inflation, instead of wage growth and tax contributions.

Argentina President Mauricio Macri said the changes were needed to lower the deficit and attract foreign investment.

Macri is a conservative who was elected in 2015. Since taking office he promised pro-market reforms which includes austerity measures to revive the economy.

His administration say that the reform will save the government roughly 60 billion pesos ($3.4) billion per year, which amounts to 0.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, as reported by The New York Times.

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