Friday, May 18, 2018

If Moscow Raises Retirement Age, More than Half of Russian Men in Many Places Won’t Live to Get Pensions

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 18 – At present, according to official Russian government statistics, 39 percent of Russians die before reaching the age at which they can receive a pension (  If Moscow as expected raises the retirement age to 65, far more will die before then.

            Indeed, using Rosstat life expectancy tables, a majority of Russian men in 38 of the country’s 85 (including occupied Crimea and Sebastopol) regions will die before being entitled to claim a pension, with most of those being in predominantly ethnic Russian areas (обо-всём/v-kakih-regionah-bolee-poloviny-muzhchin-ne-dozhivut-do-pensii).

            Opposition leaders have already come out against such a boost in the retirement age (, but perhaps more seriously, some analysts now say that such an action could lead to a revolt precisely among older Russians who up to now form the core of the Putin majority (

                Even if such predictions are overstated, that could present the regime with a problem especially if it becomes obvious that raising the retirement age will disproportionately benefit Moscow and other large cities and non-Russian and especially non-Orthodox (that is, Muslim) groups.

            Indeed, ethnic Russians may view any such government raising of the pension age as part and parcel of a continuing Moscow-orchestrated genocide of the Russian people, a perspective promoted by many Russian nationalist groups and one that could empower them, something especially dangerous given their greater willingness to use violence.

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