Mikhail Pastukhou

A wonderful example of neighbouring countries.

As practice shows, the coronavirus has above all on the elderly. How to survive this dark phase and remain useful for family and country? This writes the article for “Free news” doctor of law, Professor Mikhail Pastukhou.

Pensioners are different

According to February 2020, in Belarus there were 2557,5 thousands of pensioners. The average old age pension amounted to 445,9 of the ruble, which is equal to 39.9% of the average salary in the Republic.

Of course, these data hide the real state of Affairs. The majority of pensioners have pensions do not reach the officially named average. Thus, the minimum old-age pension taking into account surcharges of 20% of the average wage was 245 rubles. If the citizens have no reason for the retirement pension (for example, not enough labour or insurance experience), then on reaching respectively 60 years (women) and 65 years (men) they can expect to receive only 119,4 of the ruble.

However, among us there are “rich” pensioners who receive 1,5—2 thousand rubles. Don’t believe? Yes, those who wore a uniform in any law enforcement Agency. These people 45-50 years of age can obtain higher pension and earn. Former officials are also from highly paid pensioners.

As is known, the Belarusian authorities adopted a decision to increase the retirement age from January 1, 2017. Simultaneously, on the basis of presidential decrees increased and the insurance period required for obtaining retirement pension. If previously required five years of such experience, then 2020 is already 17 and a half years.

In derogation from General rules for certain categories of workers are provided special conditions of pensions. Thus, the state officials, including former deputies of the house of representatives, when reaching the retirement age receive a monthly allowance (depending on positions) from 65 to 75% of salary on last place of work. The size of their support is two to three times higher than the average old-age pension.

Special (preferential) order pensions set for military personnel and persons equated to them (for example, employees of internal Affairs bodies, state security bodies, the emergencies Ministry, the Investigative Committee, the State Committee of legal expertise, judges, prosecutors).

The essential point is that the above categories of persons receive an allowance (pension) is not from the Fund of social protection of population (fszn), and from the Republican budget. This puts them in a privileged position compared to other pensioners, that should be recognized as a violation of the principle of equality of citizens before the law (article 22 of the Constitution).

It can be stated that the current pension system of Belarus has exhausted its potential and needs to be reformed.

Proposed pension reform

As previously noted, the basic requirements in the sphere of pension provision is formulated in a Platform independent REP, approved October 5, 2019. Among them: “freeze” raising the retirement age at 2019 (56 years for women and 61год — men); to reduce the period of insurance up to 10 years; to cancel the reduction factor for working pensioners; to increase the minimum retirement pension.

I support these demands, and even became a member of the RAP for their implementation. However, I believe that in addition to these requirements it is necessary to establish a uniform procedure for the appointment of pensions for all categories of workers. This will in large measure equalize pension benefits and to eliminate disparities in pensions. At the same time should raise the minimum and average pension (roughly up to 500 and 1000 rubles).

In case of continuation of labour activity it is necessary to recalculate pensions through defined periods. This should not be any deductions under the guise of “reduction coefficient”. Pensions should be indexed annually, and for 5%, and given the inflation and rising prices (in our case it is at least 15-20% of the average pension size in the Republic).

Readers will want to know, and how you can implement pension reform. The answer to these questions would tell the countries of Europe and our closest neighbours Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine. There is preserved the state-based pension provision (based on existing seniority and insurance contributions). However, it mostly provides a living wage. On addition to the pension should take care of the employee. To do this, developing insurance coverage by the monthly compulsory contributions to the pension funds. Stimulates voluntary employee contributions to registered accounts.

The determining factor in the calculation of pension seniority. The more people work, the greater the percentage of salary he receives (up to 60-70%). The state does not steal the pensions of their citizens. Seniors — honor and respect. The public transport, usually free. Discounts on drugs. Pensions are indexed constantly.

In Belarus on pension reform have yet to dream and build projects. But we know how to do. Sources for filling the pension Fund are many, including reducing defense spending, the maintenance of power structures, reduction of salaries of officials.

The pension reform concept is expected to discuss and adopt at the next Congress REP. It will be a programme of activities for the future.

Personally, I like the young retiree interested in how to improve their security. We are equal before the law regardless of our merits before the state. This principle should guide the process of pension reform. Each of us has a right to a peaceful and secure old age.