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As expected, Russian lawmakers might water down proposed pension reforms


As expected, Russian lawmakers are reportedly floating the idea of reducing the proposed hike to the country’s retirement age. A source in the parliament told the news agency Interfax on Wednesday that the legislation’s second reading will contain an amendment that would raise women’s pension age by only five years, instead of the proposed eight.

In June, the Russian government submitted draft legislation to the State Duma, establishing a plan to raise the country’s retirement age from 60 to 65 for men by 2028, and from 55 to 63 for women by 2034. Interfax’s source says this language will still appear in the legislation’s first reading.

Yaroslav Nilov, a deputy from Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party, says he’ll introduce an amendment with a smaller increase for women. He told the news agency TASS that “a compromise is possible, but it’s all about the second reading.”

The newspaper Vedomosti has reported that the Kremlin is closely monitoring the public backlash to the proposed pension reforms, even assembling a kind of “brain trust” to “win back” the issue in the media. The newspaper’s sources say the Putin administration is also considering a less dramatic raise to Russia’s retirement age, and cutting the eight-year hike for women down to five years is apparently likely.

On July 11, however, Labor and Social Protection Deputy Minister Andrey Pudov warned that any softening of the proposed pension reforms would prevent the state from raising monthly retirement benefits by 1,000 rubles ($16), as projected in the current draft legislation.