RUSSIA - The former Soviet Union's State Duma last month passed on first reading the package of pension reform bills submitted by the president.
According to Moscow News the Russian Pension Fund will emerge from a state extrabudgetary fund into a non-commercial organisation, meaning that the pension fund will be outside any state control and will no longer be an element of the budget system or subject to budget law.
The fund, headed by Mikhail Zubarov, will get the right to engage in business activity, using state funds, and place these funds in any commercial structures, including abroad.
The fund's current balance is about 130 billion rubles ($5bn). Moscow News has reported suspicion that “the whole reform will boil down to just one thing. The fund will get the right to effectively privatise pensioners' money. “
The bill also raises the base pension from 180 rubles to 450 rubles, introduces a long-service pension and reduces the length of employment requirement so that pensions can be obtained following five years of employment.
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