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Russian President Vladimir Putin, under pressure over proposed changes to the Russian pension system, today in a televised speech in Moscow softened the measures currently working their way through the Russian legislature. The Russian leader’s popularity has plummeted over the scheduled change to raise the retirement age to 65 for men and 63 for women from the current 60, and 55 years of age respectively. Demonstrations have appeared across the country and raised the specter of civil unrest.
“The bill raises the retirement age for women by eight years, to 63, while the retirement age for men is raised by five years. Of course, that won’t do. This is wrong,” Putin said.
Putin also said that women with three children will have the right to receive a state pension at the age of 57. He set the age at 56 and 50 for women with four and at least five children, respectively.
The Russian president said the reform was necessary due to the country’s serious demographic challenges, reported RFERL.
The Kremlin has couched the moves as necessary, financial measures to bring the pension system in line with the rest of the developed world. However, the population sees the move as a way to steal from the elderly as life expectancy in Russia is very low compared to the West.