Pension reform was approved in the third debate of the House; what’s next for the project?

After a marathon day of more than eight hours, this Thursday, May 23, 2024, the Seventh Commission of the Chamber approved the pension reform, one of the most controversial projects of President Petro’s Government.

The debate took place as scheduled, despite proposals to modify the agenda and postpone said discussion, presented by representative Andrés Forero, of the Democratic Center. Thus managing to obtain 17 votes in favor and 3 against. It is worth mentioning that now, the reform is ready to go to the Plenary of the Chamber.

Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives third debate on the pension reform. The project was approved and will go to the Plenary. | Photo: Guillermo Torres / Week

In the session, the project of 95 articles, the norms referring to the principles, the duties of the State, the employer’s power to request the pension, tax treatment, the duties of the administrators, the duties of employers with those contracted to provide services, the responsibility for the payment of contributions.

The most complex articles were those referring to the characteristics of the solidarity pillar, the semi-contributory pillar, the solidarity pension fund, the amount of the contributory disability pension, the beneficiaries of the survivors’ pension due to the death of the member and the validity.

Pension reform is approved in the Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives. | Photo: Guillermo Torres / Week

Regarding the issue of validity, it was also very broad, One of the proposals is that it come into effect in 2026, one more that it be in December 2025, but finally the one that came from the Senate prevailed that it be on July 1, 2025.

For the Minister of Labor, Gloria Inés Ramírez Ríos, this bill is an opportunity to dignify old age and transform the lives of the less fortunate.

“The Government of Change is delivering for the country, we are one step away from lifting a large number of grandparents out of extreme poverty, but we are also making progress so that pensions in Colombia become a right. With this reform we also seek equity, leaving a regime of competition and moving to a system of rights, where Colombians have true protection for their old age.”, the Minister assured.

Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives began the process in the third debate of the pension reform project
For the Minister of Labor, Gloria Inés Ramírez Ríos, this bill is an opportunity to dignify old age and transform the lives of the less fortunate. Bogota May 21, 2024 Photo Guillermo Torres Reina / Semana

The head of the labor portfolio highlighted that with this reform, subsidies for high pensions are eliminated and the pensions of young people will be protected, thanks to the creation of the savings fund.

“This bill is also an act of social justice, because thanks to the judicious debate in the Congress of the Republic, we are building a tool that will allow us to combat the inequality that hits our country hard,” explained the senior official.

“We have managed to approve the pension reform in the third debate of four. We have the Chamber Plenary debate left, it is very good news especially for those unprotected older adults in poverty.”stated representative Martha Alfonso, coordinator and speaker of the pension reform.

On the other hand, Senator Miguel Uribe expressed his rejection of the Petro Government’s pension reform and stated that “it is a devastating blow for the Colombian economy. We must stop it with all our strength, before it destroys the country’s savings and affects the long-term well-being of the people. The excuse of helping the elderly, which should and can be done without reform, is nothing more than the way to play politicking with the money saved by millions of citizens,” he said.

This was the discussion of the pension reform in the Chamber

Seventh Constitutional Commission - session of 05/23/2024 - Discussion and voting on Bills.

At around two in the afternoon, eleven articles of the pension reform remained to be voted on by the members of the Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives.

Around 1:00 pm, the House approved articles 36 and 77, which according to the project, It includes benefits for parents with children with disabilities and the opportunity to transfer for contributors.

Likewise, article 76, related to the transition regime, was endorsed, providing security to those who already have a significant number of weeks of contributions.

Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives began the process in the third debate of the pension reform project of the Government of Gustavo Petro Bogota May 23, 2024 Photo Guillermo Torres Reina / Semana
Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives third debate of the pension reform project | Photo: Guillermo Torres / Week

*With information from Colpresa and editorial from El País.

 
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