Russian Public Chamber debates pension reform

A debate took
place in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on current issues
relating to pensions. The pros and cons of the current pensions system were
discussed, along with possible changes set out in a recent report drafted by a
committee of experts at the Public Council for investment in the pension fund
under the President. The person in charge of the project is the chairman of the
Centre for Strategic Research, Mikhail Dmitriev.


The ideas in
the paper concern setting up a pension system based on the needs of different
groups within the population. The main difference between the groups is age,
and the authors of the report consider the main aim to be to encourage people
to work beyond the current pension age, and start drawing their pension later.
For people already past retirement age, the important things are a stable
income, and affordable medicines, help with care of their homes and other
non-financial support. Apart from this, it suggests relieving the pressure on
the pension fund by developing private pension schemes. In 2010 3.5 million
citizens contributed to a private pension scheme. The report also states that
wages need to be higher, to allow people to contribute to their pension scheme.
A Pochinok, a member of the Council of the Federation, supported the ideas set
out and said that employers should ensure that their employees are enroled in
some scheme. He said that a differentiated approach to pensions could help to
iron out regional differences in living standards. Participants in the
discussion said they thought these proposals needed further development. Mr
Pochinok thought it important that every citizen understood what the reforms
would mean for him or her. The Chairman of the Public Forum’s Social
Commission, A Ochirov, said that the proposals should be opened up to broad
public discussion.

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