universal pensions in Mexico City – update

Now that federal government guarantees a minimum pension of 525 pesos (US$40) a month to all legal residents of Mexico aged 65 years or older, state governments are eliminating their own social pensions rather than add to the meager federal benefit. It is thus noteworthy that the government of the Federal District (Mexico City), with its long history of universal social pensions, remains firmly committed to continuing them without change.

Mexico City from the beginning fixed its social pension at one-half the minimum wage, so it goes up in pesos in January of each year. In Mexico, half a minimum wage means a monthly benefit equal to 15 minimum daily wages. The minimum wage in Mexico City in 2013 is MX$64.76 a day, so the social pension is 971.40 pesos (approximately 75 US dollars) a month. The federal government’s social pension is pension-tested, denied to anyone who receives an employment-related pension. Mexico City’s pension, in contrast, is universal. Beginning in 2001 it was given to everyone from age 70. In 2009 the age of eligibility was lowered to 68 years. The only requirement, other than age, is residence in the Federal District, including residence for a minimum of three years prior to application for benefits. Voter registration or receipts (for payment of water, property tax, telephone, or rent) suffice to prove residence.

Beneficiaries now number 480,000, and receive not only a monthly allowance, known as “pensión alimentaria” (food pension), but also free medical care and low-cost notary services. Anyone from the age of 60 can use public transportation without charge within the federal district; 500,000 elderly persons take advantage of this privilege each day on average.

Residents of Mexico City who do not receive a contributory pension can now access two social pensions – one from the federal government beginning at age 65 and another from the local government beginning three years later. Everyone in Mexico City who is 68 or older, and satisfies residency requirements, this year is entitled to a minimum monthly pension of 971.40 + 525 = 1496.40 pesos (115 US dollars). This is a modest amount, but is nearly three times the size of the pension-tested federal benefit.

For more infomation, see my previous post on Mexico City.

The following press release, from the Government of the Federal District, provides details.

El jefe de Gobierno del Distrito Federal, Miguel Ángel Mancera, destacó que el programa de atención a los adultos mayores en la capital del país es integral y no tiene comparación con ningún otro programa similar. ….

A su vez, la titular del Instituto para la Atención de los Adultos Mayores, Rocío Bárcena, destacó que actualmente este programa cuenta con una afiliación de 480 mil personas ….

Recordó que para las personas de más de 60 años el transporte público capitalino es gratuito en el que diariamente viajan 500 mil adultos mayores ….

En su oportunidad, la titular de la Secretaría de Desarrollo Social local, Rosa Isela Rodríguez, indicó que cada uno de los derechohabientes recibe 971.40 pesos mensuales como … pensión alimentaria ….

Finalmente detalló los diversos servicios a los que pueden acceder los adultos mayores, como testamentos a bajo costo, atención médica domiciliaria, viajes turísticos dentro y fuera de la capital del país, entre otros.

NOTIMEX, “Entrega GDF tarjetas de pensión alimentaria“, DF Diario, 23 April 2013.

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