The reform of the pensions should be fair and welcome, said the presidential Council on human rights. For a later date of retirement the Russians need to ensure that compensation measures, said the head of the HRC Mikhail Fedotov
(Photo: Andrey epikhin / TASS)
The Council on human rights (HRC) under the President of Russia at a special meeting on Wednesday, July 11, to discuss the draft pension reform proposed by the government in June. The increase in the retirement age to 65 years for men and 63 years for women need to be accompanied by offsetting measures: the authorities must ensure the quota of jobs for people over 50 years old, to enter for employers, the incentives for keeping older employees and responsibility for their discrimination.
Not to impose reform
The number of calls to the President on the subject of pension provision has increased 20 times since the announcement of pension reform, said Mikhail Fedotov. “To say that the pension reform care about our society — to say nothing,” says Fedotov. More than 28% applied to the head of state criticized the government bill, 30% of applications citizens fear the growth of unemployment, at 18% — the fall in the birth rate due to the fact that older people will not be able to help in the upbringing of grandchildren.
The Ministry of labor called the risks of a possible easing of the pension reform
“Age of retirement was the only understandable part of our pension system. This is the only thing that was clear to our citizens clearly — “at this age I retire”, the experience is clear. Everything else for the citizens is unclear,” — said the Chairman of the Commission the HRC on social rights Irina Kirkor. Citizens “catapulted very frightening for all information about the future of each family”, not taking into account the psychological factor, she added.
“Reform should be understandable for citizens, the reform needs to be for the citizens wish, because to impose any reform is impossible, it is impossible to implement through the knee”, — said Mikhail Fedotov. “You cannot take away from people what they already have been given previously. But we can offer some compensation,” he said. According to him, it is necessary to provide for senior citizens program, employment assistance, retraining and psychological adjustment, and employers — incentives to the employees of older age and measures of responsibility for discrimination on grounds of age.
Photo: Alexander Ryumin / TASS
Fedotov suggested linking pension reform with the level of real income of people: “one who is barely making ends meet, it is not necessary to force to prolong his career for additional years.” For citizens with low incomes can allow earlier retirement, although their pensions are “modest,” said the head of the HRC.
A more gradual increase
The Commissioner for human rights Tatyana Moskalkova at the same meeting, called for the easing of the pace of raising the retirement age. The government proposes to raise the age by a year every year until the achievement of the planned level. However, according to the Ombudsman, all countries usually approach to pension reform with a “very smooth transition”. “Not for a year — at least for six months, and Slovakia adds literally two months. This is also a very serious point that we need you to consider, to contemplate and to offer the State Duma,” — said Moskalkova.
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The main idea of the bill should be to increase the level of pensions, said the Ombudsman. “We would like to see him all by-laws, which will then be taken, and other bills, allowing to leave on pension reform, including changes in approaches to medico-social examination for the elderly, strengthening guarantees of employment quotas for nationals after the age of 50 years, a differentiated approach for working in hazardous environments and severe working conditions,” — said Moskalkova.
Raising the retirement age for women is eight years too harsh, she said. “I think that raising the age women from eight years would be too large an increase,” — said Moskalkova.
Mitigation for women
The head of the Duma Committee on labor, social policy and veterans ‘ Affairs Yaroslav Nilov (LDPR), promised to amend the second reading of the bill providing for raising the age of retirement for women to 60 years (instead of 63). Such a proposal was earlier made by the head of Federation of independent trade unions of Russia Mikhail Shmakov. But the Ministry stressed that any change in the parameters of raising the retirement age threatens a decrease in the planned increase of pensions. “Changing approaches to age means only one thing: [in this case] is changing and the amount of increase in the amount of the pension”, — said journalists the Deputy Minister Dmitry Peskov.
Raising the retirement age by five years for men and eight for women, according to the calculations of the authorities, will allow to increase pensions by an average of approximately RUB 1 thousand each year. By 2024, the average pension in Russia is expected to grow to 20 thousand rubles, said first Vice Premier, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov the TV channel “Russia 1”. Ministry of economic development has estimated that raising the retirement age will increase the number of economically active population of 1.8 million people by 2024, and due to this, the GDP growth will increase by 1.3 p. p. for six years.
The transition period
The bill was drafted and submitted in the “emergency procedure”, – noted in the Council meeting economist Yevgeny Gontmakher (not part of the HRC), stressing that the document is not accompanied by proposals on the labour market. Gontmakher is sure that to raise the retirement age in Russia is necessary, but after the preparation and discussion of a great national programme, and the extension of retirement to start from 2025. “During these six years, the government must demonstrate a compelling economic and social progress”, he concluded.
A member of the HRC, the economist Yevgeny Yasin believes that during the transition period of the pension reform is necessary to create a special Fund for social support of citizens. “We should consider the creation of a special Fund that would help people getting into a difficult situation. Not necessarily only seniors, also includes the unemployed, families with many children. This is a shared system that is based on the fact that we are moving from budgetary allocations largely for the savings of citizens,” says Yasin.