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Upper house speaker proposes upping Russia’s retirement age by 6 months over 10 years

May 17, 2018, 18:55 UTC+3 VOLGOGRAD

The raising of the retirement age has been done by all European countries and all CIS states, except Russia, Valentina Matviyenko said

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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

VOLGOGRAD, May 17. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko spoke against politicizing the issue of raising the retirement age in Russia and proposed upping it gradually by six months over 10 years.

"No one should hide the head in the sand and we need to speak with our citizens openly and sincerely: the issue of raising the retirement age has become part of the agenda and is topical. This has been done by all European countries and all CIS states, except Russia," the speaker of the upper house of Russia’s parliament said, answering journalists’ questions.

In Matviyenko’s opinion, while making a decision on this problem, "one should not respond emotionally or politicize the issue and should proceed from the economic logic, social logic and reasonability."

In this context, the upper house speaker said that the current retirement age had been set in the 1930s and since then considerable changes had occurred in the living standards.

"We need to objectively approach this issue," Matviyenko said.

At the same time, the upper house speaker urged to "calm people" and explain to them that the retirement age "won’t be raised either by a decree or by an order or by a law that will prescribe that everyone will retire at the age of 60 or 63 from January 1, 2019."

"I believe that this should be a very smooth and calm transitional period and the issue of raising the retirement age should be stretched over 10 years and each year it should be raised by six months for men and women," Matviyenko said.

Therefore, "quite different retirement timeframes will be reached only in 10 years," she pointed out.

In other words, as Russia’s top senator explained, "if a decision is made to raise the retirement age for women to 60 years, although this has to be discussed, the pension age of 60 years will come only in 10 years."

"But this [raising the retirement age] has to be done," Matviyenko said.

Retirement age problem

Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spoke about the need to raise the retirement age in Russia. According to the premier, such a decision is necessary but it should be made "accurately and in a weighed manner, proceeding from a person’s readiness to continue work, his vitality and health condition, changes in corporate legislation and labor law."

The Russian premier also stressed that the government was preparing its proposals and would soon submit them to the lower house of parliament for examination.

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