St. Petersburg Deputies Explain why Pension Reform Should be Abolished During Crisis

St. Petersburg Deputies Explain why Pension Reform Should be Abolished During Crisis

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According to them, if the previous retirement age is brought back in Russia, it might help not only support the Russians during the crisis, provoked by a number of factors, but also decrease the burden on employment services by reducing the federal budget spending on unemployment benefits.

Recently, the notorious pension reform that forced the Russians to work 5 years longer and retire much later than it was before has become has become a subject of heated discussions among experts and politicians. Indeed, it is one of three priority topics on a par with the novel coronavirus and demands to provide direct financial assistance to people during the lockdown.

There is no point in looking for the reasons why the issue of the pension reform’s abolition became so popular, while the current situation is getting more and more interesting. After all, experts, economists, publicists and even many politicians have gone beyond mere talking about the need to cancel it and return the previous minimum retirement age, but also confidently prove the top urgency of a decision of this kind.

Thus, recently, Sergei Trokhmanenko and Oksana Dmitrieva, deputies of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, took a stand for revoking the pension reform. According to them, if the previous retirement age is brought back in Russia, it might help not only support the Russians during the crisis, triggered by a number of factors, but also decrease the burden of the employment services by reducing federal budget’s expenditures on unemployment benefits. Moreover, deputies are not just suggesting that the previous retirement age should be returned – they have even submitted a bill to the regional parliament.

“First of all, it is a traditional measure of support for the people during a crisis. It will allow people of pre-retirement age to retire early. Besides, it will reduce the burden on employment services and protect the budget from additional expenses on unemployment benefits,” Dmitrieva said.

According to her, today it is unprofitable for employers to keep elderly employees who have to observe the self-isolation regulations because they are at a risk group due to their age. She said that in this case, people of pre-retirement age are also the most unreliable employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, the Russians of pre-retirement age who have to wait five years longer for retirement will still not be able to return to work amid the pandemic.

“People are furloughed, and the state has to increase unemployment benefits,” said Dmitrieva. “Perhaps, it would be better to give older residents an opportunity to receive a pension in order to partially solve the problem. Even in terms of ordinary management this would be much easier than designing a credit plan for enterprises.”

Oksana Dmitrieva made emphasis on the role of pension as an instrument of direct state support to people in times of crisis.

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