SÃO PAULO – Since 2019, workers have had a new way of redeeming the resources accumulated in the FGTS (Guarantee Fund for Employment Period). The so-called “withdrawal-birthday” allows the withdrawal of part of the balance each year, in the month of the fund participant’s birthday. And for those who are still far from blowing out candles, last year the possibility of making advance payments was also authorized through a loan.
A study carried out by the Ministry of Economy showed that, in the pandemic, anticipating the withdrawal of the FGTS birthday was one of the alternatives for Brazilians who needed to raise cash. Between April 2020, when the operations were authorized, and August 2021, 7.4 million loans of this type were accounted for, totaling R$ 11.8 billion.
In the average of this period, each operation anticipated workers R$ 1,599. The average amount of prepayments in 2020 was R$2,439, above that recorded in 2021, of R$1,369.
The operation resembles that of the advance payment lines for 13th salary traditionally offered by banks. In practice, the consumer can take out a loan offering as a guarantee of payment the amounts he has to receive for the birthday withdrawal. The financial institution debits the amounts due in subsequent years, on the client’s birthday, directly to the account maintained in the FGTS.
In the study, the Ministry of Economy highlights that the instrument is a cheap and accessible credit option for workers. “Expanding the guarantee system has proven to be an effective strategy to expand access to credit for families and companies, with a reduction in interest rates and costs for society as a whole”, he informs.
As it involves a real guarantee – the resources that the worker has kept in the FGTS – the anticipation of the withdrawal-birthday is usually offered at lower interest rates than conventional personal loan lines. According to the rules established by the FGTS Board of Trustees, banks can charge, at most, the limit rate applied to payroll-deductible loans for public servants.
As they have job stability, public servants are the ones who get the lowest rates in payroll-deductible loans. According to data from the Central Bank, in June 2021, the average interest rate in the modality was 1.26% per month for those working in the public service. For INSS retirees and pensioners, it was 1.60% monthly and for workers in the private sector, 2.17%.
Thus, according to the study, workers in the private sector who chose to anticipate the withdrawal of the FGTS birthdays benefited from potentially the lowest rates in the market.
A simulation presented by the Ministry of Economy demonstrates the impact of lower rates. A loan in the amount of R$2,439 paid in monthly installments over three years was considered.
In an ordinary personal loan, with monthly interest of 5.21% (average rate in 2020), each installment would be R$151 per month, which corresponds to an annual cost of R$1,816. In a line of anticipation of withdrawal-birthday, with interest of 1.09% per month, the value of the installments would fall to R$82, totaling an annual cost of R$987.
“The exchange of unsecured personal credit for credit guaranteed by the receivables of the FGTS’s Saque-Anniversary brought, in this example, savings of around 46% for families in the cost of the installments”, highlighted the study.
New Banks Offer Anti-Birthday Withdrawal
With an eye on the potential of the segment, new banks started to offer the anticipation of the withdrawal-anniversary of the FGTS in recent times. This is the case of BMG, which debuted in the modality this month. “Our decision to enter this market is linked to the fact that this is a good product for our focus customer and because it has lower rates for them”, says Flávio Guimarães, vice president of the bank.
In Guimarães’ view, from a business point of view, the early withdrawal of FGTS birthdays is an opportunity comparable to payroll-deductible loans for INSS retirees and pensioners. “It is a market that will grow a lot and that manages to serve a large number of people, with low risk”. The institution’s experience with payroll, in fact, tends to be an operational differential in the new modality, according to the executive.
Another bank that entered the withdrawal-birthday anticipation segment, in June, was the Pan. “We believe a lot in the capacity of this product, in being able to offer an option that fits in your pocket and can still be an extra breath, whether for future planning or even to pay off some debt,” according to Diogo Ciuffo, the institution’s director of Digital Bank and Means of Payment.
Currently, 15 financial institutions are registered to offer early withdrawal-birthday operations. The information comes from Caixa Econômica Federal, the FGTS operator. Check out the list:
• C6 Consigned
• Bank of Brazil
• J. Safra
• Banco Mercantil do Brasil
• Federal Savings Bank
• Financial Fact
• Trust Credit Society
• Itaú Unibanco
• QI Direct Credit Society
• UP.P Loan Society between People
How it works
To contract an advance payment, the first step is to join the withdrawal-anniversary, using the FGTS application or website, or even Caixa’s internet banking. Then, using the same channels, it is necessary to authorize the consumer’s preferred banking institution to consult and request blocking of amounts available in the accounts kept in the fund. The next step is to look for the institution to obtain the loan.
Each bank establishes its own conditions for granting credit, with regard to amounts, terms and interest rates. O InfoMoney consulted four of them to understand the details: Caixa, Banco do Brasil, Pan and BMG.
At Caixa, for example, it is possible to bring forward up to three years of withdrawal-birthday, and the transaction must have a minimum value of R$2,000. At Banco do Brasil and Pan, the limit is also three years of withdrawal-birthday, with Pan allowing operations from R$ 500. BMG, on the other hand, offers up to five years in advance.
The amount that can be redeemed each year by workers with the withdrawal-birthday corresponds to a percentage of the balance kept in the FGTS, plus an additional portion, following the table below:
|Up to BRL 500.00||50%||–|
|From BRL 500.01 to BRL 1,000.00||40%||BRL 50.00|
|From BRL 1,000.01 to BRL 5,000.00||30%||BRL 150.00|
|From BRL 5,000.01 to BRL 10,000.00||20%||BRL 650.00|
|From BRL 10,000.01 to BRL 15,000.00||15%||BRL 1,150.00|
|From BRL 15,000.01 to BRL 20,000.00||10%||BRL 1,900.00|
|Above BRL 20,000.01||5%||BRL 2,900.00|
Employees can consult the amount available in their FGTS and simulate the amounts released for anticipation of withdrawal-birthday through the same channels (FGTS application and website and Caixa’s internet banking).
The lowest interest rates on the anti-payment-anniversary lines are those of Caixa and Banco do Brasil, at 0.99% per month. At Pan, the rate is 1.99%.
Other conditions can also be set by banks. Caixa, for example, clarifies that the credit date of the last withdrawal-anniversary to be anticipated cannot exceed the limit of 999 days, counting from the contracting of the loan. Pan informs that it also makes the modality available for negative people.
For Ricardo Hiraki, CEO of Plano Educação Financeira, the option of bringing forward the FGTS withdrawal-anniversary can be especially interesting for those who have debts with higher interest rates than those offered by banks in this modality. “Imagine someone who has a credit card installment at a rate of 5% per month. The opportunity to make an advance at 0.99% or 1.99% would be quite valid, as it would save a lot”, he says.