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Russian State Duma adopts final reading of legislation raising the retirement age, bringing it one step away from Putin's desk

Source: Interfax

On September 27, the Russian State Duma adopted the third and final reading of legislation that will raise the country’s retirement age from 55 to 60 for women and from 60 to 65 for men. Incorporating amendments based on recommendations by Vladimir Putin, the revised legislation softens some aspects of the original legislation (the hike to women’s pension age is now three years fewer, and certain pension benefits will remain unchanged). On September 26, lawmakers passed the bill's second reading.

The bill is now headed for the Federation Council and President Putin, who recently went on national television to endorse the initiative.

Since the government announced plans to raise the retirement age, Russians have expressed less support for President Putin and especially the ruling political party, United Russia, and thousands of opponents have staged protests across the country. United Russia’s leadership believes its poor showing in certain regional elections earlier this month was a direct result of the party’s support for pension reform.

In mid-September, a poll by the independent Levada center showed that 85 percent of the country opposes raising the retirement age to 65 for men, and just 11 percent of Russians support the policy. Slightly more Russians (88 percent) oppose raising the retirement age to 60 for women, and just 9 percent support the policy. At the same time, the percentage of Russians who said they would join any street protests in their area against pension reform dropped 53 percent to 35 percent.

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This text was updated on September 27, after the State Duma passed a third and final reading of the pension-reform legislation.