Raising retirement age is inevitable
The zero reading of the draft federal law "On amendments to certain legal acts of the Russian Federation concerning appointment and payment of pensions" was undertaken by the Civic Chamber. Secretary of the Civic Chamber Valery Fadeyev believes that pension reform should be treated, taking into consideration its complexity: "The pension reform is not a bookkeeping operation, it is not just increasing the current retirement age by 5 or 8 years, it is a social and political task. The Civic Chamber is trying to help carry out this task. As we plunge into this topic, more questions arise."
Fadeyev highlighted several points:
"Labor. Some say that there is a shortage of labor force, others say that there is an excess supply in our labor market, that productivity will increase, there will be robots everywhere, digitalization, which will lead to fewer jobs. What does the government think about how many new jobs could be created? Will there be a shortage of labor force? Will older people be able to find work?
Regions. Different regions have different labor market trends. A shortage in one region coexists with an excess labor supply in other. Is there such analysis?
Migration policy. One of the strategic tasks set by the president was the development of the Far East. What about jobs there? How to link the increase in retirement age with the migration flow to the Far East?
Demography. How to link the demographic policy with pensions? Colleagues say that retirement age should be linked to the number of children - if there are many children in the family, the mother and father should expect a lower retirement age.
Education. They say that older workers should be retrained if there is a different range of professions. How to change, adjust the education system? How to create an educational unit that would work with older people? It is difficult for older people to get a job. Employers, both private and public, do not really like older people. How to deal with labor discrimination? But what will happen to the youth, if the government deals with labor discrimination, and older people will keep their jobs? Will it increase a risk of youth unemployment?"
According to Valery Fadeyev, "the reform has raised a huge layer of issues from various areas of life ... There is one crucial factor - today, there are 80 million employees and 40 million retirees in the country. And given that out of 80 million working people, only 50 million pay taxes, it turns out that 50 million employees support 40 million retirees. Nowhere is like this. Raising the retirement age is inevitable."
The chair of the Russian Civic Chamber's Commission on social policy, labor relations, cooperation with trade unions and support of veterans, Natalia Pochinok, believes that there are no real alternatives to raising the retirement age. According to her, the main question is what will happen to the labor market: "What role should be played by old people, persons of pre-retirement age, in the labor market? What kind of geography and movement of such people can we afford? Will it be acceptable for our citizens? Perhaps, young people are ready and can afford to go to the Far East, or develop some undeveloped parts of our country, but the elderly? What to do with migrants? What is better - attracting people from abroad or effectively building up an internal policy migration in Russia? We should clearly calculate the labor market and all other aspects - how to motivate employers, how to motivate workers. Our task as the Civic Chamber, which interacts with authorities, experts, civil society, is to find a compromise."