Chileans Protest Against Private Pensions

Thousands of Chileans took to the streets nationwide on Sunday to demand a dismantling of a private pension system criticized for providing retirees with low payouts, The Wall Street Journal reported. The backlash against the system follows years of accolades by multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, which held up Chile’s pioneering use of individual savings accounts as an alternative for countries with costly state pensions considered unsustainable because of aging populations. But 35 years since it was implemented by Chile’s right-wing military dictatorship, critics say it hasn’t delivered on promises. Chilean opinion pollster Cadem found that 84% of Chileans want an overhaul, while a University of Santiago survey said 61% want to return to a public pension system. Demonstrations against the model have been some of the biggest of President Michelle Bachelet’s two-year administration. Organizers say Sunday’s march attracted hundreds of thousands of people. To shore up support, Ms. Bachelet, whose approval has fallen to a low of 15%, proposed changes this month to raise pensions. Read more. (Subscription required.)