On September 27, the Duma, the lower house of the parliament, approved the third reading of a bill to raise the general retirement age by five years. After approval by the Federation Council, the upper house, president Putin signed the bill into law on October 3. Starting January 1, 2019, the retirement age will rise by six months every year, from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 60 for women. Numerous special groups will still be entitled to lower retirement ages.
Russia’s current retirement age is low by international standards and an increase in the expected lifespan makes financing of pension obligations increasingly difficult. OECD figures show that over the past ten years the average life expectancy for Russian men at 65 has risen by two years to 13.4 years. The average life expectancy for Russian women at 65 is 17.7 years. Spending on pensions represents about a quarter of all consolidated government budget spending. The law does not change the principles for determining labour pension benefits or their financing basis.