Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed decree No 137 “On the improvement of the pension system” on Monday, state-run news agency BelTA reports.
The document aims to improve the pension system in the changing social and demographic conditions. In accordance with the decree, starting from 1 January 2017 the standard pension age will be gradually increased by six months every year until it reaches 63 years for men and 58 years for women; there will be the same increase in the retirement age (by three years during the period of six years) for those entitled to preferential, long-service and military pensions.
Interestingly, it was not until the end of 2015 that the Belarusian authorities started promoting the idea of raising the pension age in the country. Alyaksandr Lukashenka promised to do it only after ‘discussing the issue with the people’.
Belarus should have raised the pension age 10-15 years ago, economist Barys Zhaliba believes. In this case, introducing such measure would not have been very painful for Belarusians, the expert told Belsat TV in March. According to Belarusian economist Uladzimir Kavalkin, the project manager of ‘Price of Government’, the initiative could increase unemployment to 1 million people.