Putin: Russia's pension reform must be balanced and cautious

Putin: Russia's pension reform must be balanced and cautious

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that any decision on reforming the pension system must be balanced and cautious, after admitting there had been a “sharp” reaction to the prospect of a higher retirement age from the public.

“Of course, all this has drawn a predictable reaction, a rather sharp discussion in public. We cannot act routinely, formally, but only take a balanced and cautious approach,” he said.

“At the same time we need to take into account the current situation in the economy and the labour market, we must understand what the future holds for the country in 10, 20 and even 30 years,” Reuters cited the president as saying.

Putin did not announce any changes to the reform plan, but said he had asked the government to consult with political parties, public organisations and regional administrations to review the legislation before the second reading in the State Duma.

“Clearly, every decision regarding the interests of citizens - mainly the elderly citizens, their labour rights, medical assistance and social security, must be made with a forward thinking approach,” the president said, adding that he planned to announce his view on the reform later, likely on Wednesday.

The government has proposed gradually raising the retirement age to 65 from 60 for men and to 63 from 55 for women. Lawmakers passed the bill in the first reading in July. To become law, the bill must pass three readings in the State Duma lower house of parliament and then must be approved by the upper house and finally signed by the president.

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