ASUNCION – Thousands of workers marched on Thursday in Paraguay’s capital to protest a government bill to reform pension fund regulations.
Workers marched toward Paraguay’s Congress and teachers announced a one-day strike to protest the bill that proposes to create a Pensions Superintendency, accompanied by a loosening of restrictions on how pension funds can be invested.
The head of the FEP teachers’ union, Silvio Piris, told EFE that teachers are not against investing pension funds, although they demand that these investments be regulated and receive guarantees.
“We are not against the use of the pension funds, but we need guarantees so that any investment that is done with these funds is safe and provides returns to strengthen them. We have already witnessed other transactions that have been affected by bankruptcy and in which the investments were lost,” he said.
Piris said that unions are not seeking to revise the bill point by point, as the government has proposed, but rather to create a new bill with the participation of organized labor.
“Pensions are at risk because of the types of investments. We want these investments to be safe and we want guarantees that the funds will be appropriately invested. In addition, the number of years teachers will have to contribute to their pensions could be in jeopardy. We are taking action to reject this bill and to present a new concerted proposal that will benefit all workers,” he said.