Medvedev on retirement age reform: one cannot think in terms of likes and dislikes here
The decision on raising retirement age in Russia since 2019 was the most challenging one for Russian authorities over the past decades, but it was made for a long-term perspective, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian TV channels.
According to the PM, such decisions cannot be reviewed often. "It’s evident that this decision is aimed at a long-term perspective," Medvedev said, noting that last time the decisions on the pension age in the country were made nearly 70 years ago.
Medvedev recalled that the decision on raising the retirement age was a compromise solution. For women this will be an increase by five years instead of eight, as initially proposed, and certain groups of citizens will continue receiving social benefits, TASS reported.
The Prime Minister said that the country's leadership did not doubt that the reform will cause negative reaction, but one cannot base decisions on likes and dislikes in this sphere, as it may result in grave consequences. "If we do only everything we like in the economy, we will most likely turn into a backward and very weak country," he stressed.
The vice-rector of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations Alexander Safonov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, the government would not have had to take such an unpopular step if Russia had achieved high rates of economic growth. "If the economic growth rate was at an adequate level, about 5%, then the federal budget revenues would be enough to implement the necessary strategy to increase pensions. But since economic growth rates are a more complex thing than just changing the retirement age, in this regard, at the current stage, the government chose an easier way," he said.
The first results of the pension reform will be announced next year. “If unemployment creeps up, it will indicate that they have not thought through enough the sequence of steps and the consequences of raising the retirement age," Safonov explained.
The head of the Department of Management Graduate School (VSHGU) at RANEPA, Ilya Bykovnikov, in turn, agreed that the government has chosen to make simplest choice. "Perhaps, there were other ways, but they would have given a longer result than this one-time, albeit a difficult decision related to raising the retirement age. That is, the choice was in favor of reform, which gives an almost instant result. It is still difficult to say what the practical results will be. Most recently, changes to the law were made, when the president changed the age threshold for women, and it is unclear how effective the reform will be," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 3 signed a law on the pension reform. The law stipulates raising the pension age by five years from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 60 for women. The gradual pension age hike will begin from 2019. The transition period will last until 2028.