The system reminds of a delayed-action bomb."
Since 2017 the retirement age has been annually increasing in Belarus. The process ends in 2022, when women retire at the age of 58 and men at 63. At that, after 2022 the retirement age of women and men may be equated. The state is already considering such a scenario.
That's how the authorities try to plug the leaks in the NSSF (National Social Security Fund) repeatedly pointed at by international experts.
The authorities’ statements and actions in the social sphere have been criticized many times. Former Minister of Labour Aliaksandr Sasnou comments on fiery words of the dictator about the retirement age increase:
"Effective decisions require response on the part of the population, the understanding of the current situation in the country. And our authorities are far from it. It's noteworthy Lukashenka's statement "Man of 60 years old is strong enough to work hard". I do not know such men, perhaps they live in Drazdy.
Such an approach means that our people have not earned this pension and are considered "spongers" living on money of the people employed."
Charter97.org asked economist Leu Marholin and legal inspector of the REP Trade Union Leanid Sudalenka for an expert opinion whether the retirement age increase for women is possible and whether it is worth it:
"The absurdity is on the surface"
Leu Marholin believes that the authorities the retirement age increase for women is possible:
- It may happen in 2022, as soon as the retirement age reaches 58 years for women, and 63 for men. And only women will fave this scenario. This is the only way for this plan to come true.
And I will explain you why. The absurdity of the pension system is on the surface. The retirement age for men is planned at the level of 63 years old, and the remaining life expectancy for men is 64 years. The authorities cannot afford to raise the upper bar for men, otherwise, a half of Belarusians will not reach this age.
"Another initiative from hot heads"
Legal inspector Leanid Sudalenka states that such initiatives are completely wrong; social and economis situation of Belarus should be taken into account:
- Living standards are not so high to carry out such experiments in our country.
I do not know who has come up with such an initiative. What are they thinking about? Do they justify it with longer women's life expectancy? It's the only possible variant.
"One pill for all diseases"
Economist Leu Marholin paid attention to the fact that the Belarusian authorities had only one panacea for all pension problems - to increase the retirement age:
- Every situation has at least two ways out. The authorities have decided to reduce the number of pensioners amid the lack of the pension fund. However, it's not surprising.
The expert says that the efficiency increase of the Belarusian economy is needed:
- The extension of the pension fund will be the logical solution. It can be done by increased inflows in our economy. It should be more attrective for investments. It's simple - better economy promotes the extension of the pension fund.
The economist points out at shortcomings of the joint pension system, when the able-bodied population makes contributions to the pension fund instead of the previous one:
- Turning to the world's best practices, one could think over attraction of entrepreneurs and pensioners to form the pension fund. But the authorities only accept the retirement age increase.
"The retirement age is running away"
The lawyer of the REP Trade Union calls on the authorities to answer for their actions:
- If the government fails to deal with the economy, future generations should not be responsible for it. When I was 50 years old, I was kidding that I had to work 10 years to get the pension, and when I was 51, it became 13 years before the retirement. The retirement age is running away.
Regular Belarusian can afford good food, travelings, proper level of health care. It all affects the life expectancy. The very sense of work is lost, if you can die before the retirement age comes.
"It's possible to avoid the retirement age increase"
The economist believes that reforms could save our country from manipulations with the age threshold:
- The experience of developed countries shows that the symbiosis of solidarity and cumulative systems is a success. It's not worthy to completely accept the financial defined contributions. Moreover, immediate transition is not possible. Time and set of measures are required for reforms. It’s the only option to avoid the retirement age increase.
"It's delayed-action bomb"
Leanid Sudalenka believes that the authorities absolutely do not calculate possible risks of the current pension system:
- The country suffers from the labor migration, life expectancy is falling. It bears certain risks and hazards. But I think our officials do not care. They try to retain power.
No one thinks about a prospect. The authorities seize the day and have no plans. Once again, all failures in the economy become the burden on Belarusians' shoulders.
The authorities lay the delayed-action bomb. In 10-15 years Belarusians can stay without pensions, the interlocutor of Charter97.org summed up.