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Putin says raising retirement age in Russia unacceptable, unnecessary

April 18, 2012, 23:13 UTC+3

Deputy Ministry Yuri Voronin said “there are no reasons for such decision in Russia at this point”

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NOVO-OGAREVO, April 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Raising the retirement age in Russia would be unacceptable and unnecessary, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

“This is ruled out. If we did this, the retirement age in the country would be 65 years already now for both men and women. We understand that this is unacceptable and unnecessary for Russia now,” Putin said at a meeting that focused on the implementation of the tasks set in his election article “Democracy and the Quality of the State”.

Putin has repeatedly spoken against raising the retirement age.

“Being an experienced manager, Putin has always adhered to one of the main postulates of our Constitution which says that Russia is a welfare state. And this is what Putin’s phenomenon is about, and probably the secret of his popularity. He remains committed to a socially-oriented state policy not only during elections but throughout his term of office,” the prime minister’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health and Social Development denied media reports claiming that it has suggested raising the retirement age in Russia.

Deputy Ministry Yuri Voronin said “there are no reasons for such decision in Russia at this point”.

He believes that the raising of the retirement age would not help solve the problem of Pension Fund deficit. “It [the deficit] has no demographic implications despite statements by some experts,” he said.

Putin said pensioners who wish to work after retirement should be allowed to do so.

“I want to stress once again that we have no plans to raise the retirement age. But those who wish to continue working after reaching the retirement agent and want to preserve a good income -- we must create additional conditions for them to earn a better pension,” Putin said.

In his view, good economic stimuli should be created for that but warned that they “must not be imposed but should be stated and offered”.

Putin said that the overall size of pensions will also grow. “We will not allow pensioners to fall into poverty again as before, all of them without exception,” he said.

He promised that all socially vulnerable sections of the population that need help from the government would get all the necessary conditions for decent life and self-realisation.

“We will make social support more targeted and as a result more effective,” he added.

As for pensions, Putin said the government would have to create such a mechanism in a year or two that would guarantee decent life to the elderly.

He said that pensions in Russia would reach the average European level in future.

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