“We preserve early retirement benefits in the North”. How will the changes to the pension system affect the residents of Yamal?

Today, in the State Duma, there has been the first reading of the draft law on changing the age of retirement presented to the lower chamber of parliament in the middle of this past June. However, the residents of Yamal may stay calm: the point has been made – all benefits for the inhabitants of the Extreme North will be preserved. UralPolit.Ru correspondent tried and found out how and when the residents of Yamal would retire.

Today, in the State Duma, there has been the first reading of the draft law on changing the age of retirement presented to the lower chamber of parliament in the middle of this past June. However, the residents of Yamal may stay calm: the point has been made – all benefits for the inhabitants of the Extreme North will be preserved. UralPolit.Ru correspondent tried and found out how and when the residents of Yamal would retire.

Why do they change the age of retirement?

The draft law on the retirement-age increase was presented to the State Duma by the Government of the Russian Federation in the middle of this past June. The authors suggest that the age of retirement should be changed and increased by five years for men and eight years for women. Consequently, pursuant to All-Russian regulations, the former will retire at 65 and the latter – at 63. There are numerous reasons for this reform: from the general pension fund deficit to the growth of the number of the retired (nowadays, there are on the average about 1.8 working people per one retired person, while this ratio was four to one during the years when the previous version of the law was adopted.

Moreover, there is a long-standing need to increase the welfare of the today’s unemployed retired persons which the overcommitted pension fund can no longer cope with. According to the plans of the Government of the Russian Federation, which Maksim Topilin, the Minister of Employment and Labor offered insights into on Monday at the meeting of the State Duma, such measures will allow increasing the retirement benefits by 1,000 rubles per year on the average.

“We proceed from the fact that such resolutions will help us to set up a course of one thousand per year. Otherwise in case of other scenarios we will only be able to sustain the retirement benefits at the level of maintaining their average amount just above the inflation, but the average of relations to the living minimum wage will decrease”, the Minister of Labor said. In case of enactment, it is supposed that next year retirement benefits will have already been adjusted by 7% minimum, which will result in the increase of annual payments by 12 thousand rubles.

Bonuses of the residents of Yamal

Today, there are a little bit more than 140 thousand retired people, out of whom about 122 thousand receive the insurance old-age retirement benefits. Certainly, they all reside in the region with the climate, which is far from being favorable. That is why pursuant to the legislation they are to receive benefits that are guaranteed to the inhabitants of the Extreme North and the regions equaled to it. Nowadays, they retire 5 years earlier than the citizens of the country in general: men retire at 55, women – at 50. Moreover, the representatives of the indigenous minority of the North engaged in the traditional industry also have the right to be entitled to preferences.

It should be noted that, after the current pension system was adopted, the average life expectancy in the YNAO and Russia in general increased by decades. For example, since 2008, this indicator in Yamal has grown by 6 years hitting record high of 75.3.

Besides, the inhabitants of the regions of the Extreme North are not ready and willing to retire and often continue to work. For example, according to the All-Russia statistics, in 2017, about 84 thousand people retired, out of whom more than a half, i.e. 54 thousand people, continue to work and at the same time receive the retirement benefits. The above is equally true of Yamal.

Anyway, all benefits applied to the inhabitants of the regions of the Extreme North and territories equaled to them are preserved: the residents of Yamal will continue to retire five years earlier than most citizens of Russia.

“We preserve early old age benefits in the North. This ‘early old age’ period will be the same five years, and even ten years in certain cases. It will just be calculated with regard to the new age of retirement”, the Minister of Employment and Labor Maksim Topilin said. Consequently, the age of retirement for men will be 60, for women – 58.

How to receive “the northern” retirement benefits?

Corrections, if approved by the State Duma, are planned to be introduced gradually: the transition period will start in 2020 and end in 2028 (when the corrections for men will be finally take effect) and in 2034 (for women). The age of retirement will increase by one year every two years after the adoption of the law.

In Yamal, the distinction is a little bit different. In particular, in 2020, men and women born in 1969 and 1964 respectively will be able to take a well-deserved rest – by that time they will have been 51 and 56. By 2028, the age of retirement for men will be 60, and for women the transition period will last until 2034.

It makes sense that certain conditions must be fulfilled in order to receive the preferential “northern” retirement benefits: in particular, one have to work within the territories of the Extreme North for 15 years (20 years within the territories equaled to the Extreme North).

The authorities also intend to preserve special conditions for women residing in the North Polar Region. Let us recall that if a woman have two or more children and a qualifying period of 20 years, and has resided in the region of the Extreme North for 12 years minimum, she will have the right to retire at 50. The benefit will be preserved, and this fact will also influence the female residents of Yamal.

Moreover, as Taisa Kolokolova, the Head of the Department of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation in the YNAO said during the recent public hearings in Salekhard, the benefits will be preserved for the representatives of the indigenous minority of the North engaged in the traditional industry. In particular, if men representing the indigenous minority of the North have been engaged for 25 years, for example, in deer farming or market hunting, they will be able to retire at 50. Women engaged in ranching will have the right to retire at 45, if their qualifying period is 20 years.

The Yamal Government’s position

Previously, each constituent entity of the country has familiarized with the concept of the suggested changes into the pension system. The YNAO Government sent a positive feedback to the draft law to the State Duma. Alongside with that, regional authorities studied the draft federal law in detail and confirmed the preservation of a special status of the inhabitants of the Extreme North in the regulations of the new document.

“The operation of the draft law and the conditions for the admission to the insurance old-age retirement benefits shall not be applied to 26 social categories. Among them, there are such disadvantaged groups of the region as women bringing up two or more children and having worked for twelve years in Yamal or women bringing up five or more children without any work experience. Plus men and women living a traditional life of the indigenous minority of the North: reindeer breeders, fishermen, hunters. According to preliminary estimates, the changes of the age of retirement will not affect about 25 thousand retired people in Yamal (1/5 of the number of all the old-age retired people in Yamal). Besides, the draft law, as it is currently drafted, guarantees the right to the early retirement for the inhabitants of the Extreme North” the media office of the Yamal Government informed.

As to the detailed discussions of the main provisions of the draft law, comments and suggestions from the regions of Russia, this process in YNAO is ongoing. Meetings of the working groups of the government bodies, deputies’ consultations, public hearings, and meetings of trade unions will take place in the region during the whole process of the draft adoption. The State Duma will wait for the comments and suggestions related to the new law in a procedural manner from regions before the second and the third hearings.

In the meantime, most of economists nowadays agree that the issue of increasing the age of retirement is a long-standing issue. The President of the Russian Union of Cities/Towns of the Arctic Circle and the Extreme North Igor Shpektor, the member of the President’s Council on the Local Self-Governance, has definitely said to UralPolit.Ru that the increase of the age of retirement is necessary for the country for economic reasons.

“We realize that the increase of the working age is long overdue. The process is of great concern, but it is necessary”, he thinks.

Photo: Veronika Bykova/UralPolit.Ru

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