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Minister: Pension system in Russia cannot be balanced unless pension age increased

January 15, 2014, 15:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In the end of last year President Putin declared that raising the pension age was "inexpedient"

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Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, January 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Unless the problem of increasing pension age is settled balancing the pension system will be impossible, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov declared at the Gaidar Forum on Wednesday.

"The question of increasing the pension age ought to be discussed, and this question must be raised," Siluanov declared. Until the problem is settled balancing the pension system cannot be carried out," the minister warned.

"The pension reform undertaken in 2013 was only a first step towards making the pension system fairer as regards people entitled to benefits and people who retire later than at the age specified by the pension law," Siluanov said. "However, the pension system remains unbalanced. We spend more than a trillion rubles to ensure a balanced pension system. Therefore, the problem of the adjustment and balancing the pension system is a separate piece of the state budgetary pie," the minister said.

In the end of last year President Putin declared that raising the pension age, which was done in all the European countries and what Russia's neighbors did, was "inexpedient". "Nevertheless, we should ensure the stability of the pension system; make it an effective part of the Russian economy. We should ensure that the pension system be socially fair and that the pensioners' income should be comparable to the average wages they earn a few years before they retire," the president said, speaking at an ONF (United People's Front) forum. "We should bring it to the level of the developed world market economies. Is that possible? Yes, it is," Putin said then.

In approximately a fortnight since Putin spoke Deputy prime minister Olga Golodets assured that "there was no mention of raising the pension age in any of the scenarios of the pension reform." "This is an absolute axiom; we will not raise the pension age, but will employ a different mechanism of retirement at a more advanced age," Golodets said earlier.

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