If previously all the initiatives of A Just Russia faction on this issue were rejected, then, from now on, Vladimir Putin’s position is likely to change the situation.
In general, there are so many problems in the current Russian pension system that it is easy to lose track of the personal aspirations of certain categories of pensioners. For example, of the working ones. Irrespective of major headaches of the Russian pension system in the form of ongoing pension reform, annual extension of freezing of pension savings and modest indexation, which is almost immediately eaten up by inflation, on the background of all these troubles there is another one. It is not very noticeable but for a huge number of elderly Russians it is very painful. It is related to working pensioners whose pensions have not been indexed for the fifth year already.
It is noteworthy that the discussion about the indexation of pensions for employed residents, who reached retirement age, has never stopped. Deputies of the State Duma representing the opposition demand time after time from their colleagues and the authorities to restore justice and return legally earned money to people. For example, this issue is most often raised by deputies from A Just Russia faction. However, every time they try to speak about it in the State Duma, the majority represented by the ruling party stops it. Therefore, the situation remains the same from one year to year.
However, not so long ago, working pensioners in Russia got a chance to change it. If previously all the initiatives of A Just Russia faction on this issue were simply rejected, this time Vladimir Putin’s position on the issue is likely to change the situation. Not so long ago, he instructed the government to submit options to increase the size of insurance pension payments for working Russians before February 1. Several factors indicate that this issue is highly likely to be solved. First of all, Vladimir Putin made this statement publicly during his large-scale press conference. Secondly, he personally appointed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to be responsible for solving this issue.
Now, it has become known that in the Sate Duma lower house of parliament a bill has recently been introduced. It implies the indexation of pensions of working pensioners by the level of accumulated inflation in 2020. It was proposed by the deputies of the A Just Russia faction, and its implementation will require allocation of 71 bln rubles ($934.76 mln) from the budget.
As said by the initiators of the bill, the most recent amendments to the Constitution guarantee people the indexation of pensions at least once a year. At the same time, the Constitution does not limit the category of persons whose pensions will be subject to an upward recalculation. In this regard, deputies are asking their colleagues to decide to restore the mechanism of indexation of insurance payments for working pensioners who were deprived of this right back in 2016.
In addition, in an explanatory note to the bill, its initiators say that the lack of indexation of pensions for employed people of retirement age puts them in an unequal position with those who have finally resigned. Finally, the deputies say that the pension should not be viewed as compensation for lost income because it is a part of the income, which people have been saving during the economically active phase of their lives.
Of course, all these arguments might not have worked for the majority in the State Duma. Especially since the arguments and motivational part of A Just Russia party on this issue were exactly the same previously. It did not stop the United Russia party from blocking quickly any of their initiatives related to this problem. However, from now on, the official position of the Russian President and the instruction given to Mishustin will be solid factors that the party at the helm of power will not be able to step over. Accordingly, for the first time in five years, millions of working Russian pensioners might really expect a positive solution to this issue.