In late January, Brazil launched the RendA+ treasury bond, a new retirement security adapted from the work of School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance and Nobel Prize in Economics laureate Robert C. Merton, PhD ’70, and Arun Muralidhar, PhD ’92.
Brazilian policy makers and researchers have discussed the introduction of a complementary pension system to complement the Regime Geral de Previdência Social (RGPS), specially for those that want a retirement income above the RGPS ceiling. This article first recommends that the complementary system must be SUPER (Simple, Universal, Portable, Efficient with low cost and Robust Regulatation). It then proposes the adoption of a financial innovation called SeLFIES (Standard-of-Living, Forward-starting, Income-only Securities), as the default investment option for a modern capitalization regime. Brazil presents an interesting opportunity to be the first country to adopt and implement SeLFIES given the initial conditions, especially the innovations introduced in the market for government bonds. This financial innovation would help the Brazilian government address two challenges simultaneously: improve retirement security (by including even the most financially illiterate people and those in the informal sector in retirement plans) and boost infrastructure financing.