''We are talking about raising the retirement age — life expectancy is changing, after all''

The State Duma is unlikely to equate common-law marriage to official marriage

''We are talking about raising the retirement age — life expectancy is changing, after all'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Federal lawmakers are preparing to reopen the discussion of pension reform strategy after the election of new government this spring. ''Certainly, we are talking about raising the retirement age. Look how life expectancy is changing today,'' deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Ayrat Farrakhov expressed his point of view on necessity of a revision at an online conference. But the other news from Farrakhov will please men-supporters of open relationships: common-law marriages, most likely, will not be equated to formal marriages, and therefore an ''informal'' wife will not be have the right to demand a property division when separating. Read more in the article of Realnoe Vremya.

Ayrat Farrakhov, a deputy of the State Duma from the party United Russia, member of State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, was the main speaker in the regional election headquarters of Vladimir Putin on 30 January. At the online conference, he commented on the discussions at the Gaidar forum surrounding the reconfiguration of inter-budgetary relations between the federal budget and the regions, spoke about the promotion of legislative initiatives of Tatarstan to allocate free land for hospices, and expressed his personal attitude to pension reform, the introduction of which will inevitably face a new composition of the Russian government and federal legislators after the election 2018.

Certainly, we are talking about raising the retirement age

''Certainly, we are going to discuss the issue of retirement age,'' Ayrat Farrakhov anticipated the terrible topic of the conversation. ''I believe that the current retirement age (55 for women and 60 for men — editor's note) that was adopted back in the 1930s, today… (here he did not choose an appropriate word — editor's note). Certainly, we are talking about raising the retirement age because life expectancy is progressively changing,'' he clearly stated.

According to him, the retirement age can be revised without compromising the health of the working population as life expectancy continues to increase. Today people are aging much slower than before. ''Look at how life expectancy is changing today. These are very good positive changes that allow us to reopen the discussion of these issues,'' he said. However, there are no specific parameters of raising the retirement age for now yet, there is the only principled approach — to raise based on the analysis of socio-economic impacts.

The retirement age can be revised without compromising the health of the working population as life expectancy continues to increase, Farrakhov stated. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Insurance contributions, and they are quite big, do not provide a sufficient pension

As it is known, immediately after the elections a new government will have to conduct a new budget policy, where the revision of the retirement age is seen as the main instrument of balancing the budget of the Pension Fund. According to Izvestia newspaper, the government is considering two options, the first is raising the age to 63 years for women and to 65 — for men. The second option is aligning the retirement age of women and men to 63 years.

''Unfortunately, our pension system cannot be called very effective,'' recognized Farrakhov. ''De jure it is an insurance system, but in fact, it has ceased to be such. Those premiums that we pay, and they are quite big, they, unfortunately, do not provide adequate pensions,'' he indicated the problem. According to him, for many years the retirement system has operated through federal transfers, which could go not on pensions but they could work on the country's economy.

The reverse side of the Pension Fund subsidying is low Russian pensions, which are inferior to the standards adopted worldwide. ''The pension is a compensation for lost earnings due to retirement age, and compensation should be not less than 40 percent of wages,'' he stressed. ''So we need a new pension strategy,'' he stated.

''The pension is a compensation for lost earnings due to retirement age, and compensation should be not less than 40 percent of wages.'' Photo: gazetaingush.ru

Down with benefits?

Another brake to balance the pension system is numerous benefits. ''There are many privileged categories of pensioners, there are very many categories that have been established long ago,'' he complained.

On the other hand, a reform of the pension system is being spurred by a difficult demographic situation, added Farrakhov.

''Of course, these are sensitive questions, but it is impossible not to discuss them. Otherwise, we will direct more and more allocations from the federal budget to the pension system, making it impossible to invest in the economy,'' he concluded.

However, there is no specific strategy for the pension system yet, the Duma is not discussing it, Ayrat Farrakhov said. And then he remarked that ''we will have to deal with it anyway.'' ''Even if it will appear in the near future, I can assure you that it will not affect those retiring in the coming years. A reform will affect my generation,'' reassured Ayrat Farrakhov (he is now 50 years old). In other words, those who are younger than 50 years can expect surprises.

''It is wrong to create the celibacy institution. Especially in the multinational country such as Russia because in many republics it contradicts the traditions.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

The celibacy institution contradicts national traditions

Ayrat Farrakhov also expressed his opinion on potential legalization of common-law marriages. Let us recall that they are considering a draft bill of a deputy that equates cohabitation to formal marriage. For this, it has been proposed to introduce in the Family Code the new concept — ''marriage in fact''.

''I do not support this initiative and I think it is unlikely to be supported by the majority,'' Ayrat Farrakhov told the reporters. According to him, the idea is based on the desire to ensure the exercise of the property rights of common-law spouses, which can be done without amendments to the Family Code. ''If people live without legal marriage, then nothing prevents them to divide the property according to the Civil Сode. But it is wrong to create the celibacy institution. Especially in the multinational country such as Russia because in many republics it contradicts the traditions,'' he concluded.

By Luiza Ignatyeva