STUMP » Articles » Russian Revolts over Retirement Reduction » 26 September 2018, 21:59

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Russian Revolts over Retirement Reduction  


26 September 2018, 21:59

(sorry (not sorry), I always go for the alliteration).

I last looked at Russian revolts over changing retirement age on August 6.

Let’s see what has happened since then.


Russia. Kremlin loses regional votes amid anger over pension reform

Russia’s ruling party suffered two rare defeats in regional elections this weekend as its candidates lost to nationalists amid widespread discontent over a pension reform backed by President Vladimir Putin.

A second round of governorship elections was held in two key regions Sunday, after support for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party saw its strongest decline in a decade during the first round on September 9.

Vladimir Sipyagin, of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), won 57 percent of the vote in the Vladimir region, 190 kilometres (120 miles) northeast of Moscow.

He defeated the incumbent United Russia governor Svetlana Orlova, who obtained 37.5 percent of the vote, results showed on Monday.

United Russia also lost to nationalists in the far eastern Khabarovsk region, where LDPR candidate Sergei Furgal won nearly 70 percent of the vote against current governor Vyacheslav Shport.

Sunday’s runoff votes were held after the United Russia candidates failed to win at least 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

Ah, that’s the second round.

What happened in the first round?

Putin Allies Suffer Election Setbacks Amid Pensions Protests

Ruling party forced into runoffs for governor in four regions
Hundreds arrested at protests against plan to hike pension age

Russian President Vladimir Putin got a taste of public anger at his plans to increase the pension age as voters turned on the ruling party in regional elections and hundreds were arrested at protests against the reform.

United Russia’s candidates for governor in four regions, mostly in the country’s east, were forced into runoffs after failing to win majorities in elections Sunday. They trailed Communist and nationalist opponents in two of the races, gaining as little as 32 percent support in elections that are usually tightly controlled by the Kremlin to deliver rubber-stamp endorsements of its candidates.
United Russia also suffered defeats to the Communists in party-list votes for three regional parliaments. It’s the first time since 2007 that it failed to win party elections, Vedomosti reported. The pro-Putin party retained its grip on power in 17 other gubernatorial elections including for mayor of Moscow, where Sergei Sobyanin won 70 percent of the vote on turnout of just 31 percent. Its strong showing came in part thanks to strict restrictions that prevented opposition candidates getting on the ballot, as well as domination of state media.
The “unexpected failures” of the ruling party “are a bombshell similar to the spirit of 2011,” when the largest anti-Kremlin protests of Putin’s era erupted over alleged ballot-rigging, Kirill Rogov, a Moscow-based political analyst, said on Facebook.

So we can see a little difference between elections now and during the Soviet years… when the communists can win some elections. Mmmm.


You will see in my link dump below that there are massive protests, and we saw above that pissed off Russians were voting out members of Putin’s party.

Doesn’t matter.

Still passing the change.

Russian parliament approves Putin’s controversial pension reform

The Russian parliament’s lower house passed a controversial pension reform bill Wednesday, after President Vladimir Putin announced concessions to try to dampen widespread public anger over plans to raise the state retirement age.

The lower house, the State Duma, passed the legislation in a key second reading, with 326 votes for, 59 against and one abstention.

The bill, which still has to go through the formality of a third reading and a senate hearing, would see Russian men retire at 65 instead of 60.

The plan — personally backed by Putin — has sparked rare national protests, with tens of thousands rallying across Russia in recent months.

I have a theory, which is extremely simple, about why Putin is still going through with this.

This is the simple theory: Russia ain’t got the money of.

(That is a term that goes back to my childhood, in my family – I used to ask my mother: “Do we have the money of?” if I wanted something to be bought)

It’s fairly simple in idea. First, Putin has been so foolish as to spend money on stuff like invading Ukraine (maybe money came of that… but it seems more likely that he had to spend money on that.)

Second, gas prices have been relatively low given the U.S. increased production due to fracking.

So. Something has to give. Like something so silly as men retiring at age 60 and women retiring at age 55, for crying out loud.

Then you get this idiocy:

Given the low life expectancy of Russian men — 65 years — many would not live long enough under the reforms to receive a state pension.

Sigh, it’s true, but life expectancy and lifetime length percentiles (e.g., the median – at which 50% get to) are not necessarily closely linked, especially if there’s excessive mortality in a short window.

If you want a discussion on the “retirement after death” crap, check out this post: Russian Retirement Age Raised Past Death? Let Me Actuary-splain…


Here’s some stuff:

There’s plenty more where those came from. But that gives you a taste.


I have no idea what Russian finances are like. Heck, it’s challenging enough to try to figure out how Illinois is doing.

But going back to my simple theory: the reason that Putin is doing this is because he’s essentially forced into it.

And let’s pretend the communists take over the Russian government (again). What do you think will happen with the pensions?

Well, what happened in Greek after all those years of protests from pension cuts (and they had ridiculously low retirement ages, too)?

The cuts are still there.

The people can take to the streets, but they will not will new money into being (not without hyperinflation).

You can overthrow the prior political parties… and the new ones will also come slap up against the reality of not being able to pay for women to retire at age 55.

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