The national minimum wage will increase by 300 rubles to 7,800 rubles (€120) a month, but only in June 2017. The labour ministry notes the change will affect about 900,000 wage-earners, over 70 % of whom work in the public sector. The minimum wage was last increased in June 2016. Although the minimum wage has been increased substantially in previous years, it remains well below the average subsistence minimum. The monthly subsistence minimum nationally for working-age people is 10,700 rubles (€170), but varies considerably across regions.
As its name implies, the minimum wage sets a national minimum. Regions are free to mandate higher minimum wage levels. For example, the official minimum wage in Moscow at the end of last year was 17,300 rubles (€270), only slightly less than the local subsistence minimum. The level of the minimum wage also affects many social entitlements.
At the beginning of February, pensions will be adjusted to reflect last year's realised inflation rate. However, no similar index adjustment is planned for maternity assistance (matkapital). The lump sum benefit paid to families with two or more children is 453,000 rubles (€7,100). It is designed to support e.g. improving family housing conditions.