RUSSIALINK: “Civil Solidarity’s request to authorize rally against pension age increase in Sokolniki on Wednesday approved” – Interfax

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

MOSCOW. July 18 (Interfax) – The administration of the park Sokolniki has approved a request made by the movement Civil Solidarity to authorize a public event on the territory intended for a ‘hyde park’ on July 18. The topic of the event is “Rally against Pension Age Increase,” the culture establishment said on its official portal. The rally will have […]

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Governors Back Moscow’s Pension Plan but Seek Exemptions for Their Own People

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 16, 2018) Caught between the demands of the Kremlin which decides whether they will be in office and the opposing views of their populations that could make their time there easy or difficult, Russia’s governors are simultaneously telling Moscow they support the pension plan but asking it to exempt their own […]

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Pension Fight Highlights Russia’s Fundamental Problem – Its Government, Gontmakher Says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 10, 2018) The fight over Moscow’s proposal to raise the pension age highlights the fact that Russia’s “main problem is a state [which] doesn’t fulfill its functions of serving” the people. Instead, it acts like an enormous corporation that collects rents and doesn’t distribute them in an effective way, economist Yevgeny […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pension age should be increased in smooth, differentiated fashion – Moskalkova” – Interfax

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

MOSCOW. July 11 (Interfax) – The pension age in Russia should not be increased for everyone simultaneously, but for every category of pensioners separately, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said. “It seems to me it would be premature to approach all categories of citizens directly in this way, at least bearing in mind the monitoring we have conducted. We […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pensions in Russia to keep growing after 2024 – Labor Ministry” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. July 9 (Interfax) – Pensions will continue to grow after 2024, but the Labor Ministry is not ready to say at what rate. “We are now calculating everything through 2024, although the calculations undoubtedly cover future periods. We’ll see, it will depend on how we can achieve the current tasks. Without a doubt, we are working on the assumption […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Authorities Prepare to Soften Pension Reform-Sources” – Reuters

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“[Sources claim that] Russian authorities are considering ways to soften a plan to raise the pension age … following protests and a slide in … Putin’s popularity ratings. The government announced its plan last month to raise the retirement age for men to 65 from 60 and for women to 63 from 55 to ease pressure on state coffers from […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost 90% of Russians oppose raising retirement age – poll” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) – An overwhelming majority of Russians disapprove of raising the retirement age and believe that the current age is optimal for both men and women, the Levada Analytical Center said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Thursday. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they do not want to postpone their retirement. The current retirement age for […]

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Russians Rally Against ‘Cannibalistic’ Pension Reform

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – July 1, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russians-rally-against-retirement-age-increase/29330242.html) Thousands of people have taken to the streets across Russia to protest against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age. Labor unions, political parties, and opposition politician Aleksei Navalny had called on Russians to demonstrate on July 1 against a bill […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Daily says Russian leaders’ ratings drop as they announce pension reform; Yelena Mukhametshina and Olga Churakova: President and premier’s ratings go back to what they were several years ago. Effective discussion of pension reform could halt decline in authorities’ popularity” – Vedomosti

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

Vedomosti reports declining reported polling numbers for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, following announcements of pension reform. According to polling numbers published June 22, 2018, FOM [Public Opinion Foundation] indicates: Putin’s electoral rating fell from 62% to 54% in one week those trusting Putin fell from 75% to 67% Putin performance approval ratings fell from 75% […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unions want to negotiate with the Duma on pension reform” – Bear Market Brief E-Mail Newsletter

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia announced yesterday that they want an increase in the pension age to be part of a ‘package’ of labor market reforms … [such as] raising wages and reinforcing the social safety net …. FITUR is, according to Kommersant’s sources, an entrenched part of the All-Russian People’s Front, a coalition led by United […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Union-Led Protests Against Pension Reform Approved in 30 Cities” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 26, 2018) Authorities have approved union-led protests against the Russian government’s proposed retirement age hike in 30 cities, including one to be held in a World Cup host city, a major labor union said. The Russian government’s announcement on the eve of the World Cup that it would raise the retirement age has been […]

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World Cup May Have Helped Russia But It hasn’t Boosted Putin

File Photo of Putin Sitting at Desk, Looking Down, Writing, During Call-In Show, adapted from screenshot of video at kremlin.ru

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 24, 2018) Many commentators in both Russia and the West have suggested that the World Cup has helped Russia to overcome much of the opprobrium it has suffered as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, its meddling in elections in Western countries and in general its disruptive behavior. And it […]

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As World Watches Russia, Opposition Seeks To Score With Pension Protests

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – June 20, 2018) – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-world-cup-russia-opposition-pension-protests/29306847.html) As World Cup fever mounts in Russia, opponents of a government plan to raise the retirement age find themselves jostling for political position, with a handful of protests announced against the proposed measure set to coincide with soccer’s centerpiece […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Live Longer, Work Longer, Says Russian Government; But the plan to raise the pension age won’t go down well with most Russians” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 18, 2018) A long-shelved plan to raise the pension age risks coming up against a wall of protest, as Russians of all ages cling to their Soviet-era social privileges. Compared to many Western countries, Russians retire early: men at 60 and women at 55. Those who operate heavy machinery or work in difficult conditions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Authorities begin process of raising retirement age” – Bear Market Brief E-Mail Newsletter

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

“… the [Russian] government may submit a draft bill to the Duma to raise the retirement age. … suggest[ing] the strictest variant: 65 years for men, 63 years for women. … likely follow[ing] MinFin’s proposal of increasing the retirement age by one year annually. …  Several key decisions … What to do with those who qualify for early retirement … […]

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Three Prospective Reforms Likely to Hurt Putin with His Political Base in the Population

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 3, 2018) Vladimir Putin has the coercive resources and elite support to remain in office regardless of whether the population supports or deserts him, but at least some of his power depends on his ability to mobilize his base which consists of government employees, industrial workers, and especially pensioners. At present, […]

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Putin vs. Pensions: Will His Reelection Finally Free Him To Tackle Looming Crisis?

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – May 16, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-vs-pensions-will-his-reelection-finally-free-him-to-tackle-looming-crisis-/29229857.html) It’s been the third rail of Russian politics for years, if not decades, but now an increasingly fragile economy appears to have forced the Kremlin to finally reckon with the country’s pension crisis. Russia’s pension system — […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Kremlin has big plans for the next five years, and it might need to raise Russia’s retirement age to pay for everything” – Meduza

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“… a leaked copy of … Medvedev’s next five-year budget plan … [anticipates] 25 trillion rubles ($403.8 billion) on 13 ‘national projects.’ … repeat[ing] many of the priorities of Medvedev’s … presidency and … Putin[] … executive orders. [kommersant.ru/doc/3628758] … new roads … demography … infrastructure … cancer and ‘the digital economy’ … broadband Internet connections [for] public sector facilities. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian government ‘on the brink’ of increasing retirement ages” – bne Intellinews

Two Babushkas file photo

“Russian government ‘is on the brink’ of increasing retirement age in Russia … Medvedev [said] … The current retirement age of 55/60 years was set in USSR … in [the] 1930’s when average life expectancy was 40 … Medvedev argued … * * * The pension fund deficit currently amount[s] to RUB3.35 trillion ($53bn). In 2015 age pensioners amounted to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Russian pension system’s 2018 deficit will be twice as big as predicted” – Meduza

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

“Russia’s Labor Ministry has amended the Pension Fund’s 2018 budget to reflect a deficit that’s more than twice as high as predicted, rising from 106.6 billion rubles ($1.7 billion) to 256.8 billion rubles ($4.1 billion). The Pension Fund is expected to earn just 66.7 billion rubles ($1.1 billion), while spending 83.5 billion rubles ($1.3 billion). Spokespeople for the Pension Fund […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin Won’t Tell Voters How He’ll Pay for Domestic Spending” – Bloomberg/ Evgenia Pismennaya, Andrey Biryukov, Ilya Arkhipov

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“… offering Russians the biggest increase in domestic spending in years … what [Putin] won’t be talking much about is the package of tax hikes, benefit cuts and other changes … to help pay for [it] … possible increases to the pension age and the income tax … cuts in tax breaks for staples like food … [and] co-pays for […]

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NEWSLINK: “What about Pensions? An underlying issue at next year’s presidential elections is how to bring certainty and stability to Russia’s cash-strapped pension system. So far, the authorities have tiptoed around the matter.” – Intersection/ Artem Filatov

Two Babushkas file photo

“… Putin does not plan to retire any time soon. Yet many of his potential voters are worried about their own retirement prospects. Will their pensions be sizeable and reliable? At what age can Russians count on receiving them? During a televised call-in show held in mid-June, the president left this issue hanging. … By not giving any direct answers, the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia to become a net borrower for first time in a decade” – bne Intellinews

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“… Russia has been dipping into its rainy day Reserve Fund to cover the federal budget deficit but this fund is due to run out of money sometime next year. Now the government is actively preparing to dip into its other sovereign fund, the National Welfare Fund, that was set up to meet future pension payments, but now will be […]

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In Annual Report, Medvedev Says Russian Economy Avoided Catastrophe

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 19, 2017) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has promised not to raise taxes in 2017 and vowed to consider indexing retirement payments for working pensioners, delivering a moderately upbeat annual report on the troubled economy. Addressing the lower house of parliament on April 19, Medvedev said the Russian economy had avoided “catastrophe” despite low world […]

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Moscow Counting on Russians Passively Accepting Raising Pension Age beyond Male Life Expectancy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 2, 2016) The Russian government doesn’t have to worry about widespread protests over its reported plans to raise the pension age of Russian males in 2018 to one older than their average life expectancy, a Russian scholar in Yakutsk says. The opposition will complain, but it doesn’t have the votes in […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Russian Media

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Kremlin.ru – May 28, 2016) Following the Russian-Greek talks, Vladimir Putin met with Russian media representatives. Question: Mr President, may I ask you a question about domestic policy rather than talks with Greece? Vladimir Putin: Are you having trouble sleeping? Remark: I am. The whole country is thinking about this issue. Vladimir Putin: Go ahead. Question: Mr Medvedev visited Crimea […]

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Putin’s Advisors to Outline Russian Economic Reform

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 23, 2016) Russia’s latest economic reform package is set to cut state spending and raise the retirement age, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Monday. The reforms, which are due to be discussed Wednesday May 25 by President Vladimir Putin’s economic council, will focus heavily on stimulating domestic investment. It is the first time the council […]

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Russian Economy Set to Take Another Hit – A Much Smaller Labor Force in the Future

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 8, 2015) To the extent that falling prices for natural resources will force Moscow to rely on the development of other sectors, the Russian economy faces another and perhaps even more serious hit in the near term – a dramatically smaller workforce, each of whose members will have to support significantly […]

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Russian deputy prime minister says no plans to raise pension age

Two Babushkas file photo

(Interfax – October 20, 2015) Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets has said that the Russian government is not yet planning to raise the pension age. “We are not planning this over the period of time we use for planning. No, we are not,” Golodets told journalists on Tuesday [20 October] when asked when the government was planning to resume discussions […]

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Finance Ministry’s Nesterenko: retirement age increase ‘inevitable’

Two Babushkas file photo

KRASNOGORSK. Oct 9 (Interfax) – The interim decisions approved for next year in light of the budget deficit do not eliminate the need to raise the retirement age. The draft budget for 2016 approved by the government this week indexes pensions by just 4%, rather than the actual inflation rate in 2015 (about 12%), with an option to conduct a […]

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Pension Age for Russian Officials to Be Raised

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 28, 2015) Russia’s Labor Ministry plans to raise the retirement pension age for state officials to 65 from 60, according to a statement published Monday, as the government scrambles to cut spending amid a recession. The Labor Ministry said it had drawn up legal amendments that would bar officials from receiving retirement pay before […]

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NEWSLINK TASS: Russia’s 200,000 employed senior citizens worry they may lose old age pension

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MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russian Labor and Social Protection Ministry’s idea of stripping employed senior citizens whose annual remuneration is one million roubles (about $16,500) or more of their old age security pension has sparked a debate in Russian society. In the context of Russia’s modern realities one million roubles is a sum enough to buy an average class car, […]

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Russia Pension Age Hike Off Table Till 2018 – Fund Head

Two Babushkas file photo

MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia will not consider raising the retirement age until at least 2018, but will encourage people to work longer, the head of the State Pension Fund said Wednesday. President Vladimir Putin said during 2011 electoral campaigning that he was against raising the pension age and has frequently restated this position. Russia’s next presidential elections […]

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Russia Gets Poor Marks for Wellbeing of its Elderly – Report

Two Babushkas file photo

(RIA Novosti – Karin Zeitvogel – WASHINGTON, September 30, 2013) Russia earns low marks on a global index that rates countries by the quality of life and wellbeing of their old folk, ranking 78th out of 91 countries in the first-ever Global AgeWatch Index released Monday. The index, which lists Sweden at number one and Afghanistan at rock bottom, ranks […]

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Medvedev Says He’s Pleased to Learn Future Pension Size

Two Babushkas file photo

(RIA Novosti – BLAGOVESHCHENSK, Bashkiria, July 3, 2013) ­ As Russian officials put the finishing touches on a new pension plan that would peg Russian citizens’ retirement money to their labor record and wages, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that he was pleased to learn his future pension size was more than $2,000 a month. Medvedev calculated his future […]

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Fund chief finds mixed messages on Russia’s pensions

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – March 11, 2013) It would be hard to find expats in Moscow who deny that life has become more comfortable here since 2000 – more expensive, but more comfortable. Yet some people, such as Alexander Lorenz, do look back with nostalgia, The chairman of the Raiffeisen Pension Fund, he arrived in Moscow […]

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Russians fear aging more than repression – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alina Lobzina – February 12, 2013) Russians have nearly lost their fear of returning to Stalinism while old age and helplessness scare them more, a recent poll showed. The number of those concerned over a new wave of Stalin-era repression, anarchy, and civil wars has shrunk by nine times and 6.5 times respectively in comparison […]

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Russian retirement: mixed outlook for 2013

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anastasia Matveyeva, Moskovskiye Novosti – January 21, 2013) New calculations for pensions and a funded component, a possible luxury tax and a special structure that will come to manage Russian currency reserves are the main economic events that are expected in the coming year. How will these reverberate on us, and what will they will […]

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Russia’s pension impasse — is there a way out?

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(www.opendemocracy.net – Andrei Zaostrovtsev – January 11, 2013) Andrei Zaostrovtsev is lecturer at the M-Centre at the European University, St. Petersburg and professor of the Higher School of Economics One way Vladimir Putin has retained his popularity among Russians has been by increasing retirement pensions and other social benefits, and as a result the state pension fund is deep in […]

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Putin Backs Russian Pension Revamp Opposed by Finance Ministry

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Olga Tanas – November 14, 2012) Russian President Vladimir Putin backed a planned pension overhaul opposed by the Finance Ministry, Economy Ministry and asset managers, who warn it would curb economic growth. The Labor Ministry plan would divert taxes from future retirement plans to meet current pension payments and narrow the state system’s […]

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Business Group Pushes Its Own Pension Reform

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Rachel Nielsen – October 29, 2012) As the government looks to announce another proposal next month to change the country’s pension system, business lobbying group Delovaya Rossia is stepping up its campaign against the currently proposed reforms and promoting its own. In a one-page position paper, the group flatly states that it doesn’t support the […]

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Putin Balks at Pension Threats as Aging Russians Hold Trump Card

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – October 21, 2012) Nina Sultankina is telling Vladimir Putin to ignore Russia’s ticking pensions time bomb. As the 50-year-old road supervisor counts the days until she can retire and tend to her failing health in 2016, she is refusing to work longer and not even the Russian president can change her mind. “I […]

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