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Kudrin says pension reform unsuccessful

September 25, 2011, 11:46 UTC+3
Alexei Kudrin said pension reform launched in the country in 2008 has been unsuccessful so far and Russia will have to gradually raise the pension age
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WASHINGTON, September 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said late on Saturday the pension reform launched in the country in 2008 has been unsuccessful so far and Russia will have to gradually raise the pension age.

He told reporters that next year the deficit of the Pension Fund would exceed one trillion rubles. It means “the reform is not over and cannot be considered successful.”

The minister also called not to be afraid of the plans to increase the pension age as it will decrease risks of non-payment.

“We speak about a shortage of funds to pay pensions. Increased pension age decreases such risks,” he said.

In Russia the pension age for men is 60 years, and for women – 55.

But Kudrin said the average pension age among women is actually 52 years and many males also retire early as they enjoy numerous labor benefits. “We have a lot of benefits related to difficult work conditions – from employees of the chemical industry and coal miners to pilots and ballerinas,” he said.

“People should not fear pension age (increase) problem,” the minister said adding current pensioners will face no changes while young people “are hardly interested in receiving a monthly pension of 8000 rubles (260 US dollars) as they actively work to earn money and do not plan to quit work after they reach the pension age.”

Kudrin estimated the transition to a new pension age will take 10-15 years. “As the demographic situation in the country is deteriorating it is necessary to resolve the (pension) problem by the time. It concerns various social issues, including the tax burden and a number of other instruments that have to be used more actively,” he said.

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