Yelena Karpenya, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a major industrial city in the south of the Urals, has sent President Vladimir Putin her pension supplement that she received in January this year. It is noted that after the indexation by 6.6%, the amount of her pension went up by 1 ruble and 10 kopecks ($0.02): it was 9,224.59 rubles ($137.72) and has now increased to 9,225.69 rubles ($137.78.)
According to Karpenya, she had worked as an English teacher at school for 33 years. Despite this, she was given a pension of only 7,200 rubles ($107.53.) Unfortunately, it is common practice. The teachers’ salary was low even during the Soviet era, and in the 1990s it got even worse. Moreover, not only lengths of service but also insurance premiums are taken into account when calculating retiring people’s pensions.
"It would be better to do nothing than humiliate people like that," said Karpenya. At the same time, she noted the 81 rubles ($1.21) fee for sending her letter to the Kremlin.
Karpenya recalled that last year pensioners also sent their bonuses to the Russian president. The actions of that kind produced an effect and as a result the payments were increased.
In response to a request to comment on the situation with the surcharge of 1 ruble and 10 kopecks, Chelyabinsk regional branch of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation said that the pension allowances are individual and are pegged to the size of pension payments. That is, the longer the period of service and the higher the individual pension coefficients, the bigger is the sum of indexation.
Some computations were given in a post published on the website of the Pension Fund. However, none of them specifies an indexation of pension by 1 ruble.
The Pension Fund stated that there was no mistake in the estimates. The main problem is that there are still pensioners in the Chelyabinsk region, whose pensions are below the subsistence rate. They are entitled to receiving a federal social supplement. However, the final payment should slightly exceed the minimum subsistence level of a pensioner.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin press secretary, commented on the situation with the supplement of 1 ruble and 10 kopecks. In response to a reporter’s question, he said that it is necessary to find out more details: what exactly Karpenya's pension is, why she received so pitiful a sum, and what the length of her labor record is.
Peskov called for refraining from hasty conclusions on the basis of a single concrete example. As for the fact that Karpenya sent her pension supplement to Putin, Peskov responded that he had no information about it.
Earlier, at a meeting with residents of St. Petersburg, a local pensioner asked Russian President how she could live on 10,800 rubles ($161.3) per month. "I think it's very difficult," replied Putin.
She also complained that is impossible to buy food at the subsistence rate established by the government, and mentioned the difficulties that single mothers have to come to face with in this context.
The topic of pensions and social benefits has been lately raised quite frequently. Nevertheless, the United Russia party believes that the reports on the indexation by one ruble are used for manipulation. For example, Svetlana Bessarab, a State Duma deputy from the United Russia party, does not believe in the cases of this kind.
She said that the average pension had increased by 1,000 rubles ($14,93): “some people received 1,322 rubles ($19.74,) and others -- 971 rubles ($14.5).” “But only one ruble... Mind you, no one had a surcharge of that kind,” Bessarab said in an interview with the Tsargrad TV channel.