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Brazil's President Michel Temer attends a ceremony at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado


SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Friday that the pension reform bill that is "indispensable" to reduce the nation's budget deficit must be voted on this year in the lower house of Congress before the 2018 election year.

Speaking to chemical industry executives, Temer said the unpopular pension legislation should then be voted on in the Senate in February. His government agreed with Congressional leaders on Thursday to delay the lower house vote on the bill until the week of Dec. 18, the last before the Christmas recess.

(Reporting by Natalia Scalzaretto; Writing by Anthony BoadleEditing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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