LatinAmerican Post carried out an analysis of the government plans of the four most important candidates, to understand the changes they propose for the pension system in Colombia .
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández
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There are only a few days left for Colombians to return to the polls, this time to elect the one who will replace Iván Duque as president of Colombia. According to the latest survey by the National Consulting Center (CNC), Gustavo Petro, from the Pacto Histórico, maintains the first place in the intention to vote of Colombians, with 38%, which would make him go to a possible second round with Federico Gutiérrez (Equipo por Colombia), who occupies the second position with 23%.
For his part, Rodolfo Hernández remains in third place with 16% and Sergio Fajardo is fourth with 7% of Colombians in his favor.
La encuesta de @CNCSocial que puso a mucha gente a hablar desde anoche, en la que Petro y Gutiérrez siguen quietos, repunta Hernández y cae Fajardo, la pagó una compañía detrás de la cual está el empresario Antonio José López Domínguez. Va ???? pic.twitter.com/Okj10PAmZF— La Silla Vacía (@lasillavacia) May 16, 2022
Thus, these four candidates seem to be the ones who will fight for the Colombian Presidency, which is why they are also the ones on the radar of all the media, which day after day analyze what their proposals and statements are regarding critical issues. from the country. Of course, pensions are one of the most important points in the midst of electoral news.
For this reason, LatinAmerican Post has decided to analyze each of the government plans of these four candidates in order to know what their thoughts are regarding the pension system in Colombia: will they keep it or not? What would they change?
The leader of the Colombian left has been the most controversial in this area, since in his government agenda he has proposed a three-pillar pension reform in which the General Pension System is unified.
Some 20 billion pesos (more than 530 million dollars) that are today in private funds will be transferred to the state fund in order to “protect the right, achieve budget balance and release at least 13 billion pesos from the government budget which are currently transferred to Colpensiones (public fund)”.
This money would be used for the "basic solidarity pillar" with which a non-contributory pension bonus of 500 thousand pesos (half the current legal minimum wage in Colombia) will be guaranteed to the more than three million older adults who during their lives could not contribute for pensions.
The second pillar unites the public fund with the private ones, making it mandatory for all workers who earn between one and four minimum wages to contribute to Colpensiones; those with higher salaries may decide the Pension Fund Administrator in which to deposit the remainder.
Finally, the third pillar is a "complementary voluntary savings", in which "everyone who wants to supplement their pension can save in a voluntary pension fund". In this way, Colfondos and private funds would not compete with each other, but rather would complement each other.
In his government program , the right-wing candidate also proposes a pension reform, which includes the non-nationalization of the pension, in a clear criticism of Gustavo Petro.
However, like the leader of the left, Fico promotes a subsidy for older citizens, by increasing the coverage of the Colombia Mayor aid, which would cover 3 million Colombian grandfathers and grandmothers, who would receive "an income Lifetime of more than 330,000 pesos per month (81.4 dollars)”.
Gutiérrez also wants the contribution time of a person who earns a minimum wage to be reduced from 25 to 22 years, as well as "eliminate the subsidies granted in high pensions to direct them to those who need them most."
You can also read: Subsidies: This Is What The Colombian Presidential Candidates Think
For his part, Hernández (the oldest in the electoral contest at 77 years old) is betting, in the case of older adults, on granting a pension of one minimum wage ($246) for all those people “who did not reach meet the basic requirements of the pension system”, as explained in the official document of its government plan.
However, according to 'El Ingeniero', this idea must be progressive, so in the near future this pension subsidy is expected to increase to half the minimum wage through Periodic Economic Benefits, which have existed for several years as an alternative to that people with incomes below the minimum wage can contribute "whatever they can, whenever they want", according to Colpensiones.
In addition, it also aims to pension award-winning athletes, with a value of 30%, 20% or 10% of the salary of an ambassador, depending on the competition won or in which they have participated.
Finally, Hernández has other important points such as the regulation of pensions so that there is equality among all pensioners or that at least the inequality gap between them is reduced, in addition to the reform of Colpensiones so that it can capture savings and in this way "it can compete with private funds in generating investments."
Like his opponents, the Hope Center candidate aims to support older adults who have not been able to contribute to the pension system with a basic income of 500,000 pesos granted through the Colombia Mayor program.
In his government plan, Fajardo explains that this aid would cover some 3.8 million elderly people and that the money necessary for this initiative would come not in a pension reform (which he also proposes), but in a tax reform; Therefore, this aid would be financed "with progressive taxes, not with the savings of Colombians."
Like Petro, this candidate also supports the pillar strategy, only that, contrary to the leader of the Colombian left, who proposes that up to four minimum wages be quoted in the public pension fund, Fajardo reduces this threshold to two. "The first 2 minimum wages are quoted in Colpensiones (...) From 2 minimum wages, it is quoted in a private fund," indicates his campaign document.