Lifetime review: number is a ‘chutometer’, says minister – 04/03/2024 – Market

Lifetime review: number is a ‘chutometer’, says minister – 04/03/2024 – Market


The Minister of Social Security, Carlos Lupi, classified the R$ 480 billion in expenses foreseen by the National Treasury Secretariat with the whole life review as a “chutometer” if the correction was validated by the STF (Supreme Federal Court).

In a trial of two actions from 1999 in March of this year, the court overturned the thesis, which had been approved by the ministers in December 2022.

In the review of their entire lives, retirees ask the Court to include old contributions in the calculation of the INSS (National Social Security Institute) benefit to earn more.

“We never had the exact number of possible beneficiaries. Therefore, every calculation, for me, was a guessometer. A guessometer of what would be a concrete basis of who could benefit”, he says.

In an interview with Sheet, Lupi states that Social Security had no basis to make the calculations and, therefore, never presented numbers to the STF. However, it went so far as to submit to the AGU (Attorney General’s Office) a calendar for payment of the correction in an administrative manner, in case the government lost the action.

We never had the exact number of possible beneficiaries. That’s why every calculation, for me, was a guess

The minister also says that he does not see the pension deficit as a problem, as spending on Social Security “is not measured in numbers, it is measured in happiness”.

He states that, by September, he must implement tele-expertise to grant disability benefits in a large part of the country and confirms that he will continue to propose a reduction in payroll interest whenever the Selic rate is reduced.

Lifetime review
The minister states that the judicial decision taken by the STF in the lifetime review can be challenged, but must be complied with. “The Court’s decision is questioned and appealed. From the moment it is defined, it is obeyed. So, I am here to fulfill what the Court decided.”

He says he believes that losses may have occurred to some retirees after the approval of the 1999 Social Security reform, carried out by the Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) government, which changed the formula for calculating social security benefits, but says it is not possible to know how many would have right to a lifetime review, if approved.

Regarding the Treasury’s calculations, Lupi says he does not know the basis for reaching R$480 billion.

“I believe it was a calculation that the Treasury made on a basis that I don’t know what it is. It is not a concrete basis, because there was no concrete decision from the Supreme Court on this. So much so that he [o STF] changed his decision.”

And he goes on to state that the numbers presented, both by those who are against the review and those who are in favor, would be a “chutemeter”.

“It became a guess meter. Everyone started guessing numbers. We, at Social Security, never had exact numbers, because we had no basis for calculating this exact number, we didn’t have a beneficiary number, because that wasn’t calculated. It has now ended with the new change, without calculating how many could be beneficiaries, there was no way to calculate. The rest, everyone makes this free interpretation, and everyone is free to interpret what they want.”

The minister explains that there is no way to know the absolute value without the STF providing the parameters for the review. Furthermore, it is difficult to have control over old contributions, as until 1988, Social Security data was not computerized and jokingly calling the review a soap opera.

“Is there no way to know this absolute value? First, it depended on the Supreme Court’s decision. Over what period? Who would be entitled? From when? How many insured people would be entitled? There was the question of option. Whether it could be option after adding contribution time to age, or whether it would only be valid during contribution time. This was not defined.”

“Not from Social Security, for God’s sake. Social Security never gave that number, because we never had that legal basis.”

“I’m going to joke with you by saying something. After the soap opera ends, there’s no point in us seeing again that we already know the end. The Supreme Court’s decision has already been made.”

Social Security Deficit
For the minister, the deficit of R$306.2 billion in Social Security in 2023 — an increase of 17% compared to 2022 — should not be seen as a problem because it is about guaranteeing the right to social security benefits for those who paid contributions to the INSS.

Furthermore, it is the way of survival in most Brazilian municipalities.

“I do not use the word deficit in any Social Security operation. Why? Because a human being is not measured by numbers, it is measured by happiness, it is measured by satisfaction, by having some dignity to live.”

According to him, of the 39 million INSS beneficiaries currently, 9 million receive assistance benefits, such as the BPC/Loas (Continuous Payment Benefit), worth one minimum wage, currently R$1,412.

“Social Security ends up having a greater volume of expenditure because of this greater volume of beneficiaries who are not originally Social Security contributors. It is the largest continuous social program on planet Earth.”

Lupi confirms that there was an increase in the number of orders, but the queue decreased. According to him, there are 1 million requests per month. The average concession is around 65%; 45% are denied benefits.

“I had 2.2 million people in the queue. Today, I have 1.4 million. When I reduce the queue, I increase the volume of beneficiaries who are covered by Social Security.”

I do not use the word deficit in any Social Security operation. Why? Because being human is not measured by numbers, it is measured by happiness

He also says that the real increase in the minimum wage, which he defends, increases Social Security expenses, and says that, by reducing the waiting list and the average time for granting benefits, previously around a year, he is paying values minors in arrears and has already saved R$10 billion.

Lupi attributed these savings to Atestemed, an electronic system in which citizens send their medical certificate due to illness or accident at work and obtain sickness benefit or disability retirement without having to go to an in-person examination, through indirect analysis. illness or situation.

“No one wanted it. This strong-willed Brazilian decided to do Atestmed. Why did I do it? Because it makes the State’s action more efficient and faster. Do you know what the average wait was for people to receive their certificate? One year. Average of one year. So when the person received it, they received one year’s arrears. This is more expensive for Social Security. Today, on average, it takes me five, six days. I pay faster, in quotation marks. I spend faster. But I shorten the time.”

According to the minister, the implementation of medical expertise through telemedicine should be expanded to a large part of the country by September this year. In December, he says he believes that most municipalities should have a computer forensics system.

However, a percentage of in-person examinations will be maintained, as there are illnesses such as mental disorders, depression and other cases that require physical examinations and will continue to be treated in this way.

Lupi says that the start of teleexpertise in a pilot project in the Northeast with 10 thousand remote exams showed good results, with 90% of cases resolved through computer consultation, and 10% that required in-person expertise. Of the 90%, part was denied.

“It’s a bill that was passed with our help, with our commitment. And it’s the system that the modern world is using.”

Regarding criticism of the model, he says he does not believe in fraud or failures, as the exams will continue to be carried out by expert doctors. “Teleexpertise is here to stay. Whoever is going to do the examination is an expert. It is not an administrative one.”

“I believe that in September we will start to have a large volume of services. I can’t say the percentage, because I still don’t have the capacity to dilute this. Distribute this number. In September I think we will start to do a good scale. Until December I already had a very good percentage through teleexpertise, but it will never be 100%.”

Consignment interest
The minister states that he should continue proposing to the CNPS (National Social Security Council) a reduction in the payroll interest rate every time the Selic falls.

According to him, the banks’ proposal to use the DI rate plus future interest for two years has not yet been approved by the council, and, as a result, the rule linked to the Selic continues to be used, but states that there will be no automatic trigger.

Lupi states that the sector will never say that “it is earning a lot”, and interest rates at 22.8% per year are still high compared to Selic, at 10.75%.

“The day you see or hear the bank saying you’re earning a lot, let me know. Because, when I go to the meeting, I want to open my wallet and lend them about R$10”, he jokes.

Review of the 2019 pension reform
When asked whether he maintains his position on reviewing the 2019 reform, especially with regard to the calculation of the death pension, which was cut by 40%, but was validated by the STF, Lupi states that the measure was an “anti-reform”.

“I think it’s anti-reform. When we talk about reform, we always want to do reform to get rights. I always want to do reform to reduce some type of service. I’m saying this to try to make people understand that we can’t consider human numbers as a coefficient. The State was not created to make a profit. The great role of the State is its social action. That’s my opinion”, he states.

“At some point, this will have to be discussed. Will it be now, will it be in two months, three months? I don’t even know. I also cannot, individually, propose it alone. It has to be a proposal from the council, it has to go through the Treasury, it has to go through Planning, it has to go to the National Congress, it has to be approved. I just state my truth that this is a great injustice and I will fight against it.”


Source link