Thursday, March 09, 2006

Russia: Putin Standing By Pension System in Face of Declining Population

According to a report from Lisa McAdams on Voice of America, no country faces as severe a population decline as Russia. "According to the most recent forecasts, Russia's population of 143 million people is expected to decrease by 22% between now and the year 2050. If the figures are borne out, Russia could lose up to 42% of its active working population." Nevertheless, Russian President Putin recently rejected calls to abolish Russia's state pension fund and return to a more Soviet-style system, whereby the elderly would rely on their children, rather than the state, for essential support.
President Putin says Russia will never abandon the pension system. Instead, he says, his government is looking at ways to make it better, especially the question of how to increase today's contributions to the fund so that it can keep up with the expected rise in demand for payouts, with nearly 20 percent of the Russian population now 60 years of age or older.
Source: "Russia Losing Battle in Population Growth to Disease, Low Birth Rates" VOA News (March 8, 2006)

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