Russians have been turning out in droves, in cities across the Russian Federation, in continued protest against pension reform being pushed by the Kremlin. The measure would hike the retirement age from the mid-fifties to a level more in line with developed economies across the globe, 65 for men, and 63 for women. Opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been behind many of the protests in his call for demonstrations to oppose the legislation; however, the retirement age increase has struck a cord with the Russian people. A decline in Putin’s poll numbers, reversing a multi-year trend, is also instructive as to the measure’s lack of popularity.
It is no secret that people are living longer and that most national budgets cannot support an abnormally low retirement age such as it exists in the Russian Federation. Along with other fiscal competence the Russian leadership has shown, this measure seems entirely responsible. However, life expectancy is still lower than most nations in Russia and the measure is causing genuine fear of ‘working til death’ among the senior population.
“The Russian public’s trust in President Vladimir Putin has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in five years, according to a survey by an independent research body. The results come as popular discontent grows over a planned pension reform that would set the retirement age past the life expectancy of some Russians. Thousands across the country have taken to the streets to protest the reform. On Tuesday, a poll from the independent Levada Center showed a 12-point drop in trust levels toward Putin, down from 60 percent in January to 48 percent in June,” reported The Moscow Times.