Argentina Lawmakers Approve Pension Increase

August 19, 2010 ( - Argentina’s lower house approved a bill to boost the country’s minimum monthly pension payments, a move the government says will bankrupt the current system.

Bloomberg reports that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced that the proposal raises pensions to 82% of the minimum wage, which was increased to 1,740 pesos ($443) starting in September and 1,840 pesos beginning in January. If the legislation passes the opposition-controlled Senate, retirees will receive a minimum payment of 1,427 pesos per month compared with the current 1,046 pesos.   

Fernandez and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, said the social security system can’t afford the increase.   

“If they approve the projects that they are discussing, in three months we would be in default,” Fernandez said in a speech at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, according to Bloomberg.