Bitter pill: Putin says all pension reform options look unappealing to him

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that he and the majority of government officials disliked all of the proposals to raise the retirement age, but without pension reform, Russia would face a serious crisis.

Of course this is a very sensitive issue for a large number of our citizens. Also, the question did not just appear yesterday; it has been discussed for many years,” Putin said on Friday, speaking to a group of volunteers at a stadium in Kaliningrad. 

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I have faced this question before and I still face it today: which one of the various options [of pension reform] I like? I like none of those that are connected with an increase in the retirement age. And I assure you that there are few people in the government, if any, who like such options,” Putin said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

The president also stated that if no changes are introduced to the laws concerning pensions, the situation would soon become dire. “Now we have six working people for every five pensioners, but the quantity of the latter will be falling and at some moment the number of workers will become equal to the number of pensioners and then it will fall even further. And at this point, either the whole pension system would go bust or it will be the state reserve fund that we are now using to cover the pensions deficit,” Putin said.

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On Thursday, the State Duma passed on the first reading a bill ordering a gradual increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65 years old for men, and from 55 to 63 for women. The planned deadlines of the project are 2028 for men, and 2034 for women.

The first reading of the bill in the State Duma was dedicated to its general concept and basic provisions, and during the second reading, lawmakers will discuss various details, amendments and additions to the motion. State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Thursday that the committee for Labor and Social Policies made the decision to spend two months perfecting the pension reform bill motion before the second reading, instead of the usual one.

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