SANTIAGO – A large majority in the Chilean House of Representatives has voted in favor of a second pension withdrawal. Chileans can withdraw up to 10 percent of their pension funds to relieve the financial burdens the economic crisis has caused. The bill will now pass to the Senate.
A bill, introduced by Humanist Party-member Pamela Jiles, that would allow Chileans a second opportunity to withdraw up to 10 percent of their pension funds, was approved by the House of Representatives. With 130 votes in favor and only 18 against the bill, it now moves on to the Senate. The bill, heavily opposed by the Piñera administration, is viewed by its proponents as being necessary to relieve financial stress due to the economic crisis in Chile.
✅ APROBADO | Cámara aprueba con 130 votos a favor, 18 en contra y 2 abstenciones el proyecto que establece y regula un mecanismo excepcional de retiro de fondos previsionales. #SegundoRetirodel10xciento
Se inicia ahora la votación en particular. pic.twitter.com/sxIhiYhx61
— Diputadas y Diputados de Chile (@Camara_cl) November 10, 2020
Compared with the vote on the first pension withdrawal in July, which was seen as a landmark voted against a heavily-criticized pension system, the vote for a second withdrawal picked up 35 additional votes in favor. A large group of representatives belonging to government coalition Chile Vamos agreed the bill would help Chileans. Camila Flores (National Renewal) said that “if the government were more in the streets in contact with the citizenry, not in the comfort of an office in a ministry in Santiago […] they would realize that this is necessary.”
The representatives from the far-right Independent Democratic Union (UDI) also added that despite their votes against the bill, the government had done too little to look for alternatives. According to representative Mariá José Hoffmann, the government’s failure to find a solution would mean that her party would change its relationship with the government. “We are not willing to continue assuming the costs due to the lack of a clear line,” she said.
Although the bill has yet to be voted on in the Senate, the expectation is that it will pass. The government has already announced it will turn to the Constitutional Court to fight the bill; the government claims the bill will damage the economy and will leave millions of people without pension funds when they reach retirement age.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.