López Obrador signs decree to create the Welfare Pension Fund

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The Mexican president formalized the decree on Wednesday, May 1, five after the initiative was approved by the Senate with the vote of the government and its allies. “It is a day that will go down in history,” said the Secretary of the Interior, Luisa María Alcalde, during the event.

“Today, Labor Day, it is a historic day, very important to remember the struggles of the workers in the world for better working conditions,” López Obrador said as he headed his traditional morning before signing the agreement for the entry into force of the so-called Welfare Pension Fund.

The new legislation establishes a reform of the Mexican pension system with the aim that Mexican workers who began to contribute since 1997 – the year that the social insurance law was amended – earning less than 17,000 pesos (receiving all their salary as a pension, after their retirement from work.

With this new scheme, which establishes the creation of a public trust in the Bank of Mexico so that pensions that are paid equal to the last salary received by the worker, the neoliberal policies implemented in Mexico since the 1990s continue to be reversed, the president said.

“In the administrations that have ruled the country since the time,” the president said, “they will not find any reform in 36 years to the Constitution that has been made for the benefit of the workers.”

The Mexican president, who was accompanied during the event by the president of the National Commission of the Savings System (Consar), Julio César Cervantes, and the general director of the Institute of the National Fund for Housing for Workers (Infonavit), Carlos Martínez, and Zoé Robledo, general director of the IMSS (Mexican Institute of Social Security), among others, also said that this period, prior to the arrival of his party Morena to power, was characterized by privatizations and the delivery of natural resources.

In this sense, López Obrador said that the policy he implemented during his six-year period was aimed at recovering the purchasing capacity of the minimum wage since since the 1990s hunger salaries had been implemented for the people.

Before the president’s signature, the Secretary of the Interior, Luisa María Alcalde, announced that the first pension under this new scheme, which has generated criticism from the opposition and its presidential candidate, Xóchitl Gálvez, saying that it is part of Morena’s “saqueo policy,” will be paid from July 1.

One more day with a May 1 that will go down in history and that this reform reclaims the right of workers to have a sufficient and dignified pension for the last stretch of their lives,” said the official at the morning conference.

This reform claims the right of workers to have a sufficient and dignified pension for the last stretch of their lives, a right snatched by the neoliberal reforms of Ernesto Zedillo in 1997 and Felipe Calderón in 2007, which condemned us to pensions of misery with levels below 30 percent of the last salary, he added.

The Mayor also said that in the middle of the month a single window will be launched to provide guidance to workers and pensioners to learn about details of the reform and its benefits, adding that from the second half of June, the Retiring Fund Managers (Afores) will have to transfer the resources to the Fund so that workers can access their supplement.