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Quarter Of Belarusian Pensioners Carry On Working

Quarter Of Belarusian Pensioners Carry On Working
By Elena Spasyuk
Belorusskie Novosty
The number of working pensioners keeps growing in Belarus every year. They are 2 million 445.9 thousand retired people in the country. Almost 550 thousand of them continue working – it is 4% more than last year.
Interestingly, there are more retired women among working pensioners than men. On the other hand, they live longer– 75.1 years against 62.9 for men (in rural areas, men die even 6.7 years earlier, and women 3.4 year earlier than on average).
Director of the Pension and Social Insurance Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Valentina Korolyova said that as to 1 March, among working pensioners, there were 60 thousand women and 37 thousand men under 55 years of age; 161 thousand women and 36 thousand men aged 55-59. The number of working women and men aged 60-64 is the same – 64 thousands; 42 thousand women and 38 thousand men aged 65-65 still keep working.
The most impressive fact is there are 20 thousand women and 24 thousand men aged 70-79 who continue working. There are also 566 working men and 782 working women older than 80 years.
Is it because life is so good that every fifth pensioner in Belarus continues to work? Of course every pensioner is different. It is different when somebody works at the age of 60-65 or 80. Clearly, the elderly have to wok to make ends meet.
‘The Belarusian News’ tried to ask working pensioners what makes them go to work again.
Most of them did not say much about how hard it is to keep on working at the age of 65-70, but about their fear of loosing this opportunity. The elderly do simple jobs mainly like cleaning for instance for 200 thousand rubles a month. This little money is a considerable top up for their modest budget. It mostly concerns city and town residents. People in villages keep their households as long as they can walk.
The Ministry of Statistics said that the average age pension in December last year was 345.4 thousand rubles, disability pension – 302.1 thousand rubles, pension assented for the loss of family provider – 204.1 thousand rubles, social pension – 123.5 thousand rubles.
Pensions were increased in February by 6% on average.
The basic age pension is 128.4% of the minimal consumer’s budget for pensioner (the Ministry of Labour and Social Defence set it at 255.7 thousand rubles for 1 November 2008 – 31 January 2008).
According to the Ministry of Statistics, the real pension in December 2007 adjusted to the consumers price index, was 5.4% more than in 2006, but 2.4% less if compared to November 2007 because of the fast growing prices. In 2007, most grocery prices grew by 15.9%. It particularly affected grains, bread, eggs, meat, sausages, pasta, mayonnaise, butter, cheese, milk, milk products, and cooking oil.
Thus, the pension growth rate cannot catch up with the growing prices. Households in villages, gardens in towns, children’s support, and minimum possibilities are the result of the work life for Belarusian pensioners. Not surprisingly, retired people are trying to earn at least something even if they are 80 years old.
Life is the hardest for single pensioners of whom there are 148 thousands in the country. There is not much state support expected for them either. According to decree No 638 of 14 December 2007 ‘Certain measures about the state support for people’ direct assistance will be given to single pensioners with a social pension. All other categories have income more than the minimum consumer’s budget of 200 thousand rubles.
Understandably, those pensioners who are fit enough and able to find jobs, have to continue working. If they cannot, they should be satisfied with the promised pension rise. Valentina Korolyova said that “In five year’s time, nominal pensions will increase by 1.5 times. We are certain we will be able to reach this planned target.”


21 Марта, 2008
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