“Theoretically, the revoking of pension reform and reduction of the retirement age are the steps that the authorities might agree to in order to offset the risks, as well as to create a more comfortable agenda for themselves,” said Russian political scientist Pavel Salin.
In general, amid the current crisis caused by the oil prices crash and the fall of the ruble, as well as the drawn-out pandemic of the novel coronavirus infection, experts, politicians and ordinary people are increasingly discussing the possible dates of lifting the restrictions, an economic impact of the quarantine and the potential financial assistance by the state to residents.
However, just a year and a half ago, at the suggestion of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s government, Russian lawmakers passed a law on the “pension system reform,” forcing the Russians to work five years longer. It provoked a whole range of negative consequences that are somehow recalled reluctantly enough.
Meanwhile, a number of experts have a very accurately shaped viewpoint on this issue, and they are ready to substantiate it. They believe that if this most notorious reform is abolished, and pensioners get more freedom, it will help Russia escape the crisis which has not just hit the country but is coming into full force. This conclusion was made by Russian political scientist Pavel Salin and economist Mikhail Khazin. According to them, in order to save the country from the severe social and economic consequences of the pandemic and a number of other negative factors, the Kremlin may well decide to cancel the pension reform soon.
As is well known, the government is discussing the possibility of lowering the retirement age for the residents of Russia's Far North. However, there is a suggestion that the pension reform might be completely cancelled in the future since the country has come to face with a grave crisis that, among other things, can be eliminated with the help of these measures, too. This viewpoint was shared by Pavel Salin, head of the Center for Political Studies at the Finance Institute under the Cabinet of Ministers, and economist Mikhail Khazin.
According to the latter, under the quarantine, it would be better to forget about the plans to increase welfare of the Russians by the end of this year. In Khazin’s opinion, in this situation, President Putin may need to take drastic measures, such as introducing the direct presidential rule. “I believe that in the short term, Putin may have to declare abolition of the pension system reform,” said Khazin in an interview with Business Online.
Political analyst Pavel Salin not only agrees with his fellow-analyst’s opinion, but also says that the revoking of pension reform might be one of the key steps that will help overcome most of the negative consequences provoked by the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, a decision of this kind should be made not only for economic but also for image-building reasons. Salin notes the fact that today the refusal to make any decisions under pressure remains one of the Kremlin’s basic principles. However, he points out recent changes in the situation. At present, the coronavirus is in the spotlight while all other topics are put on the back burner. This means that the Kremlin is likely to bring heavy artillery into play and work not only for economic and social results but also for the benefit of its image.
“Theoretically, the abolition of pension reform and the downward revision of retirement age are the steps that the authorities might agree to in order to offset the risks, as well as to create a more comfortable agenda for themselves,” said Pavel Salin, endorsing Khazin's view that the Kremlin is likely to overcome the crisis exactly by abolishing pension reform.