The Federal Supreme Court (STF) will resume, this Thursday (9), the judgment of the action that discusses the correction index to be applied to the accounts of the Severance Indemnity Fund (FGTS).
The analysis of the case had been interrupted in April this year, following a request for a review from Minister Nunes Marques.
This Wednesday (8), President Luís Roberto Barroso informed that it will be the first item on the agenda. Last week, there was a request from the government for the issue to be removed from the agenda and for the Court to allow 30 days for negotiations.
Judgment on FGTS correction index in the STF is suspended
This is because, at the end of October, there were meetings between ministries, representatives of Caixa Econômica Federal and trade unions to seek an agreement.
Two votes have already been presented – from the rapporteur, Minister Barroso; and minister André Mendonça (see more below).
Presented by the Solidariedade party in 2014, the action questions the current model of readjustment of amounts deposited in the fund, which is currently remunerated based on the so-called Reference Rate (TR) – a type of interest rate created in the 1990s, used as a parameter for some financial applications
For the party, the form of correction imposes losses on workers, since there is a lag between the percentage granted by the applied formula, which uses the TR, and inflation. This violates constitutional principles, such as property rights.
The FGTS was created in 1966 with the aim of protecting employees fired without just cause. Fund resources can also be withdrawn by workers during employment in situations provided for by law – they are used, for example, to purchase their own home.
It is also used by the government, for example, to finance basic sanitation works, urban infrastructure and housing.
According to the rules in force, the FGTS has a yield equal to the value of the TR plus 3% per year.
A change in the way income is calculated could have a billion-dollar impact on the fund’s cash flow, with an impact on public policies such as housing.
So far, two ministers – Luís Roberto Barroso, rapporteur, and André Mendonça – have voted in favor of the definition that the FGTS remuneration cannot be lower than that of the savings account.
Case rapporteur, minister Luís Roberto Barroso stated in his vote that any change in the FGTS correction should only be applied after the conclusion of the trial in the Supreme Court.
Past losses, if the rate is changed, must be resolved by the Legislature or by collective negotiation with the Executive, in the minister’s opinion.
In his vote, Mendonça said that it is “unconstitutional to use the TR for monetary correction purposes.”
At the time of the judgment in April, the Workers’ Guarantee Fund Institute (IFGT) said that more than 200 thousand actions are suspended and awaiting this judgment from the STF.
At the time, the Attorney General’s Office (AGU) told the STF that the impact of the judgment is R$661 billion, with Caixa having around R$118 billion available in cash for the fund. The Attorney General’s Office of the National Treasury (PGFN) speaks of an impact of R$400 billion.
“The difference between the potential impact on the FGTS (R$661 billion) and its net worth could result in the need for a contribution from the Union of approximately R$543 billion”, says the AGU.