MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is pragmatically dealing with the fluctuations in his rating caused by the news about pension reform proposals, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He was commenting on the data of the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center that indicated a slump in the performance ratings for the government and the Russian head of state in June.
"I would not make a mountain out of a molehill here. Of course, the government's pension reform initiative is a very socially significant and a hot-button topic, it is a subject for further scrutiny," Peskov stressed. He reiterated that Putin is currently "not taking part in expert discussions" the government is holding to make a final decision on the proposed reform.
"The public response in one way or another affects the volatility of the rating indicators, but you know that Putin is very pragmatic about this and for him the main thing is to continue working, to do his duties as head of state. In such cases, he never looks back at his rating, people's interests always come first for him," the Kremlin spokesman emphasized.
On June 22, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, the country’s oldest pollster, recorded a drop in the assessments of the work of the government and the Russian president in June.
According to Mikhail Mamonov, the pollster’s chief, this can be attributed to rising gasoline prices and proposed changes to the country’s pension legislation.
Earlier, the Russian government introduced a draft bill on changes to the national pension system to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. They stipulate a gradual increase in the retirement age to 65 for men (by 2028) and 63 for women (by 2034). The authorities plan to raise the retirement age gradually starting from 2019. Currently, the retirement age for men and women is 60 and 55 years, respectively.
As planned, the draft bill will be reviewed until the end of the spring session (until the end of July) only in the first reading. According to Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the Federation Council, upper house of parliament, the law on pension reform will be adopted this autumn. The hike in the retirement age does not affect current pensioners (about 46.5 mln people.) They will continue to receive their pensions and social benefits that were earmarked for them earlier.
According to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s forecast, thanks to the implementation of the retirement reform, pensions will grow by about 1,000 rubles ($16) annually.