Brazil's Congress Lower House passed a bill on Wednesday toughening access to social security pensions, the second measure approved in a week to cut benefits in a drive to reduce a growing fiscal deficit.
The measure, which still has to clear the Senate, could save public coffers up to 7.5 billion Reais (2.47 billion dollars) a year, mainly by curbing abuse in pension claims. It passed by 277 votes to 178.
A week ago, the Chamber of Deputies narrowly passed a bill tightening unemployment benefits in a test vote for President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to balance Brazil's fiscal accounts, avoid a credit downgrade and restore business confidence.
Both measures were opposed by the country's largest labor union and some members of her Workers' Party. They were watered down in Congress, reducing fiscal savings by about 3.5 billion Reais to an estimated 1.45 billion a year.
Passage in the Senate will be easier, Senator Romero Juca of the center-right PMDB, Brazil's largest party and key partner in Rousseff's governing coalition, told reporters.
Brazil risks losing its prized investment-grade credit rating if it fails to put its finances in order.
Finance Minister Joaquim Levy is seeking to increase government revenues and cut spending to reach a fiscal savings goal of 1.2% of GDP this year, up from a 0.63% deficit in 2014.