If there is life after 65: Russian pensions fall short of even minimum wage

Pensioners in Tatarstan receive less than in Kirov Oblast and Udmurtia

Realnoe Vremya analyses the situation with pensions in Russia. As it turned out, old-age pensioners receive about 14,000 rubles on average – the number varies dramatically depending on the region. At the same time, pensions' growth pace is lower than inflation paces, while Crimean ''social'' pensioners have begun to receive less in the last three years.

Old-age pensions growth twice slower than prices

According to data Realnoe Vremya's analytic staff got, the average size of the most popular pension in Russia – an old-age pension – is equal to 14,100 rubles. In addition, the number dramatically varies depending on the region – from 11,400 to 25,200 rubles a month in 2018. It should be noted that the indicator of rich and favourable Tatarstan obviously doesn't comply with the region's status: the republic is in the second of the list – 50 th with 13,600 rubles. The region turned out among not the richest Bryansk and Ryazan Oblasts, which, however, are in Central Russia where the population's incomes are traditionally a bit higher in the Volga region.

However, pensioners in neighbouring regions also get more than in Tatarstan, for instance, in Kirov Oblast and Udmurtia. Pensions also have higher incomes in Vologda and Tula Oblasts. The regions located in the north of the country had the highest pensions. The average pension is 25,200 rubles in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug – the record holder in this indicator. The pension in Nenets Autonomous Okrug (included in Arkhangelsk Oblast) is 22,100 rubles. Pensioners in another four regions in the north receive more than 20,000 rubles a month. It's Magadan Oblast and Kamchatka Krai, Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrugs (all the regions have about 21,000 rubles).

Excluding regions with severe weather conditions, the highest pensions will be expectedly in Saint Petersburg and Moscow – 15,600 and 15,200 rubles respectively (the capitals are 16 th and 18th). Moscow Oblast also has almost 15,000 rubles of pension. In addition, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Irkutsk and Sverdlovsk Oblast stand out fro the crowd.

The indicator of rich and favourable Tatarstan obviously don't comply with the region's status: the republic is in the second of the list – 50 th. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Mainly republics in the south of Russia and Northern Caucasus are on the list of the lowest pensions that don't have high salaries. For instance, the average pension in Kabardino-Balkaria totals about 11,400 rubles. It's 200 rubles more in Dagestan. The indicator in Kalmykia amounts to 12,100 rubles, in Karachay-Cherkessia, it's 12,400. Citizens in Adygea and Astrakhan Oblasts have almost the same pension. They are followed by several regions from the central part of the country and the Volga region – Tambov Oblast, Mari El, Mordovia.

Old-age pensions have grown from 5% to 12,1% in the last three years (since 2015). The average indicator has increased in Russia by 10,3%. It should be noted that according to official data, which often causes scepticism, inflation was 2,5% in 2017 and 5,4% in 2016. However, even with such optimistic official estimates, inflation was 12,9% in 2015, so growth in pensions is twice slower than growth in prices.

The biggest growth in old-age pensions – by 12,1% – was detected in Chuvashia and Chechnya. However, pensions here are still low – 12,900 and 13,200 rubles respectively. Tula Oblast with 11,8% (the indicator is 14,500 rubles now) and Bashkortostan (13,500 rubles) are growth leaders. Pensions in Tatarstan increased by 11%.

The smallest growth in the three years has been in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (by 4,9%). But we will remind that they're the highest pensions in the country. The growth is less than 7% in Crimea and Sevastopol (5,5% and 6,1% to 12,700 and 13,700 rubles), Mordovia and Magadan Oblast (by 6% and 6,9%, to 12,700 and 21,500 rubles).

Social pensions lower than minimum wage

As one can notice, old-age pensions are small and far from being equal to average salaries (for instance, the average old-age pension in Tatarstan is 2,5 times lower than the declared average salary). However, other important pension categories are smaller. For instance, the average social pension in Russia is just 9,083 rubles. They did grow slower – only 9,3% for the three years (it should be reminded that old-age pensions have grown by 10,3%, which is twice slower than official inflation paces).

As it's known, social pensions are given to those citizens of the country who were recognised disabled but who don't have the right to receive an insurance pension for some reasons. A social pension can be given due to disabilities, loss of the breadwinner and old age if the contribution period is too short. Here we will consider pensions of all these categories.

Social pension varies depending on the region from about 7,700 to 15,300 rubles – more than twice. Like in the case of an old-age pension, pensioners in northern regions receive more, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug with 15,344 rubles of average pensions is the undoubted leader. In addition, Magadan Oblast receives some 14,000 rubles. Pensioners from Kamchatka Krai received 300 rubles less. In Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, the average pension is equal to 12,400 rubles, it's 12,000 in Murmansk Oblast.

The social pension was unexpectedly lower than generally in Russia in Moscow – here the indicator is unreally 8,900 rubles, which doesn't correspond to standards of the capital. The city's social pension size was equal with not rich Sevastopol and Astrakhan Oblast. Social pension is higher than in Moscow in, for example, in such regions as Chelyabinsk Oblast, Bashkortostan, Orenburg Oblast. In Tatarstan, the average social pension is smaller – 8,260 rubles a month, which is about 12% less than the minimum wage in the region. This indicator is located between the results of Kabardino-Balkaria and Ryazan Oblast. Tatarstan is behind Saint Petersburg, Kirov, Vladimir, Kostroma Oblasts and the Republic of Mari El.

The lowest social pension is received in Penza Oblast (7,687 rubles). Indicators are also low in Bryansk and Voronezh Oblasts and Chuvashia – the average social pension in all these regions is less than 8,000 rubles a month. The situation of people who receive a social pension has improved in the last three years most in Kamchatka – here it's risen by 13%. There is also more than 11% growth in Adygea and Stavropol Krai. The smallest growth is in Sevastopol, Crimea (less than 6%) and Moscow Oblast (less than 7%).

Pensions go down in Crimea and Sevastopol

Two types of social pensions – due to disability or loss of breadwinner – is by far smaller. The average disability pension in Russia has totalled 8,815 rubles in Russia. The highest pension was in the same northern regions. Chukotka Autonomous Okrug with 17,200 rubles is the leader. More than 14,000 rubles are paid to the disabled in Nenets and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs.

In Tatarstan, the average disability pension is equal to 8,737 rubles – almost like in Dagestan and Leningrad Oblast. To compare, such a pension in Moscow is 9,049 rubles. It's about 7,200 rubles in the region with the disability pension – Kabardino-Balkaria. Less than 7,700 rubles are also paid in Tambov and Voronezh Oblasts.

At the same time, a disability pension has grown a bit more than a social pension in general: by 10,2% in Russia for the three years. The highest growth is found in Chechnya – by 17,5%. Surprisingly, it's quite high here – 11,211 rubles. Growth is higher than the average in Dagestan (by 12,1%), Perm Krai (by 11,5%) and Tver Oblast (by 11,4%). The smallest growth – less than 7% — is in Northern Ossetia and Yakutia. However, Crimea and Sevastopol need to be pointed out. Disability pensions in these regions have even reduced in these regions in the last three years. The indicator in Sevastopol has decreased from 9,160 to 8,680 rubles (that's to say, by perceptible 5,2%), in Crimea – from 9,048 to 8,937 rubles (or by 1,2%).

Pension for loss of the breadwinner on average in Russia totals 8,869 rubles. Depending on the region, its size varies from 3,948 to 12,418 rubles. The highest indicator – Chukotka Autonomous Okrug – is 12,400 rubles. It's equal to approximately 11,800 rubles in Arkhangelsk Oblast. The highest indicator is also in Belgorod Oblast – 11,100 rubles. Pension for loss of the breadwinner is also the only indicator where Tatarstan ranks high. Here its size is 10,200 rubles.

For instance, Moscow is at the bottom of the list with 6,100 rubles. Less than 6,000 rubles of this pension are paid in the Republics of Altai, Dagestan, Tuva (from 5,254 to 5,848 rubles), in Chechnya (4,641 rubles) and Ingushetia (3,948 rubles). The indicator has increased more in Russia in general in the last three years than in other types of pensions – by 11,4%. This indicator has risen by more than 1/5 in five regions. Growth in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug has totalled 1/3. In Moscow Oblast and Saint Petersburg, the indicator has augmented by 31%, in Moscow and Leningrad Oblast – by about 20%. While pensions for loss of the breadwinner in Crimea and Sevastopol have significantly decreased: by 11,8% and 13,7% respectively.

By Maksim Matveyev, Realnoe Vremya’s analytic staff