One more round table dedicated to discussing the pension reform took place at the CC on October 28. This time, experts spoke about realization of the Strategy for long-term planning for the development of the pension system till 2030.
According to the event organizer, CC Member Valery Fadeyev, there is no doubt about the necessity of a broad discussion on the pension reform, including the new formula for calculating pensions. “The reform of the pension system is going forward full speed, and this process causes many questions from citizens who cannot understand what is going to happen to them in the future. Because of this lack of understanding, we already now have social tension. The CC’s position is that this tension must be defused. The question of reforming the pension system is quite complicated; however, we absolutely must do our best to make this scheme clear to literally any citizen of our country,” Fadeyev is sure.
CC Member Yelena Topoleva agrees with this position. By her words, people do not understand the gist of the reform carried out; they find the mechanism of assigning abstract scores, directly affecting the amount of the pension, non-transparent. “Citizens also ask why the authorities, tightening the amount of pensions to the length of service, do not include in it years of studying at universities, post-graduate schools, etc.,” she told. “Generally speaking, after several hearings we had earlier held at the CC on the new pension formula, both citizens and public activists have a lot more questions than answers,” Topoleva added.
As the Minister of Labor and Social Protection Maxim Topilin explained, there presently is a whole set of bills accompanying the pension reform at the State Duma. Deputies intend to consider them in the first reading by the middle of November. The first thing the Minister drew attention to was that changes do not presume any increase of the retirement age and will not prohibit to work and receive pension for people of pension age. At the same time, Topilin told that the necessary for getting a pension length of service will be increased from the present 5 to 15 years. However, this will not be the only requirement for admittance to the system of pension insurance. A citizen must have at least 30 pension scores at his/her account. As the Minister explained, 30 scores will be accrued for 15 years of working with the salary at the level of 10,000 rubles per month. If the official salary of a pensioner-to-be is below this threshold, then the length of service necessary for assigning a labor pension shall automatically go up. With that the order of calculation of the accumulated part will not change, while the insurance part will be formatted not in absolute figures but scores. The scores will be added for each worked year and will depend on the amount of insurance payments which an employer paid for each employee.
Besides this, according to the Minister, the bills propose to extend for two years (till 2015) the period during which each citizen can choose the tariff of his/her pension formatting and decide if he/she will make 6% or 0% payments to his/her accumulated part. For young people, who had just started their careers, the right of choosing will be extended for five years as of the moment they start they career.
Round table participants pointed out that the order of scoring so far is the most unclear issue of the pension reform, both for citizens and employers. This gap shall be filled in; otherwise, a social explosion is unavoidable. CC Member Nina Polichkina finds it expedient to teach the art of understanding the complex scheme of pension calculations already at the high school. In her opinion, this knowledge shall be basic for each citizen, along with programs of general education.
Director General of the National Pension Association Anatoly Rabinovich proposed to establish a council on the pension system under the auspices of the RF President. In addition, on behalf of the Association, Rabinovich stated that the issue of adoption of a new pension formula and holding the reform shall be postponed for a year at the minimum.
Answering this proposal, Maxim Topilin said that there is no doubt about the necessity to implement a pension reform and told that a set of bills to go with it will be adopted already this year. However, the Minister assured the discussants that legislators are ready to listen to public activists’ critical comments and proposals. By his words, legislators will have no less than a month for introducing amendments after the first reading. This means that the experts do have some time to continue their discussion.