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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

United Russia Calls Out Kudrin

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin’s proposal to raise the retirement age is an attack on the United Russia party that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs, a senior party official said Thursday.

“Kudrin, with fatal insistence, is advocating increasing the pension age,” said Andrei Isayev, the party’s first deputy secretary of the presidium, according to comments posted on the United Russia web site. “He is making an active play against the party, causing the electorate’s outrage.”

The government must raise the pension age to maintain “respectable” levels of compensation for retirees, Kudrin said June 29. The age should be raised “gradually,” and the government must make the decision within five years, he said.

Russia will need more than 12 million immigrants in the next 20 years to offset a demographic decline “unless major, unforeseen changes occur in the structure of the main population groups,” the World Bank said in a March 24 report. The working population will shrink by between 800,000 and 1.1 million people a year until 2013, the government said in June.

The number of working adults will equal that of pensioners by 2030, Kudrin said. There are 128 working adults for every 100 pensioners in the country today, he told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last month. Russia’s demographic problem is “worse than in other countries,” he said.

United Russia disagrees with Kudrin’s proposal, which would have “unacceptable moral consequences,” Isayev said. The age at which Russians can retire shouldn’t be increased until the average life expectancy goes up, he said.

Life expectancy reached 61.8 years for men and 74.2 years for women in Russia, according to the State Statistics Service. The retirement age is 60 years for men and 55 years for women.