Brazil President Michel Temer on Wednesday will rally his ruling coalition behind a pension bill in an all-out effort that could make or break much of his remaining 13 months in office.
Mr. Temer and his Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles will host as many as 300 lower house deputies at a dinner to garner support for a bill to cap pension spending that has been watered down but still helps fix Brazil's tattered public accounts. The latest version of the bill aims to keep around 60% of the 750 billion to 800 billion reais ($229 billion to $243 billion) savings envisaged in the government's original pension proposal, Mr. Meirelles told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
"It could be a little more, it could be a little less, but this is what we are currently estimating," he said.
The government will gauge its support at the dinner and only put the bill to a vote in Congress if it has a reasonable margin beyond the three-fifths majority it needs for approval, according to two people familiar with the administration's strategy who asked not to be named.
The bill's rapporteur, deputy Arthur Maia, plans to speak to reporters about the revised legislation after the dinner at 10 p.m. local time, according to a news release. Mr. Meirelles set out the latest version in his comments to the media, saying that the minimum pension contribution period will be 15 years, rather than the 25 originally proposed, and that the disability benefits and current pension system for rural workers will not change.
The bill would also introduce minimum retirement ages of 65 for men and 62 for women.
The controversial bill has languished in Congress for months amid successive waves of corruption allegations. With lawmakers' attention shifting to re-election campaigns next year, Mr. Temer has been forced to ease some of the bill's key provisions to keep its prospects alive.
The government is also launching a large-scale advertising campaign aimed at assuaging concerns among the general population, Mr. Temer said on Tuesday.
That campaign is the government's best chance to turn the tide in favor of the pension bill, according to political consulting firm Eurasia. It gives approval of the proposal a 40% probability.