The prospects for getting a raise are very vague - there is no money in the budget, and it is not known when it will get better.
Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil
How many people in the country receive both pensions and salaries is not known exactly. In 2017, the figure was announced at 7 million. Later, another flashed - working pensioners in the country 11 million. Economist Igor Nikolaev believes that the truth is somewhere in between - 8-9 million people. For them, in early January, good news sounded: the president instructed the government to provide proposals on the indexation of pensions to working pensioners. Do not rush to rejoice yet, you need to correctly interpret the language of power orders, he reminds. So far, no one has instructed the financial authorities to index pensions. The government may well inform the president about the inexpediency of indexing.
"The state does not index their pension and simply saves. It has already simply saved a trillion, and in the future, another trillion will be saved. The state, in principle, now has only one task - where to get the money. They thought of not indexing pensions. The state does not want to provoke anyone, it is looking for money", - says Igor Nikolayev.
The position of the opponents of indexing is crystal clear. Finance Minister Siluanov does not hide his point of view: the pension is intended for those who cannot work. If a person works at retirement age, it means that he should not apply for a pension.
Ruslan Grinberg, scientific director of the Institute of Economics, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences , says that there is a problem of choosing priorities. Since people have both pensions and earnings, they will survive, the authorities argue, but there is no money in the budget to raise pensions. Last year, the Federation Council proposed to lift the moratorium on indexing. The government quickly calculated that then the Pension Fund would need an additional 368.5 billion rubles in 2020, 426 billion this year, and more than half a trillion next year.
The country's budget is indeed in short supply, but there is money. For example, in the National Welfare Fund. As of December 1, 13.5 trillion rubles have been accumulated.
"Waiting for a black day" - this mantra does not change, just as the attitude towards the fact that there will still be a black day does not change, because it is not clear when sanctions can be introduced, they can become tougher. Therefore, the main thing is to survive geopolitical loneliness, and this is a long process and a very long history", - says Ruslan Grinberg.
Therefore, it is necessary to collect everything from everyone, if possible, and spend money only when it is impossible not to spend it, when, for example, there are social protests, otherwise you can live in peace and save up in a jar in order to be ready for even more troubles. But so far, no one touched her, except to help big business.
Indexation is a screaming problem, because inflation in our country is understated several times. The economist Greenberg does not call her calculation other than balancing act with numbers:
"Five hundred positions are included in the definition of the standard of living. But in such difficult times, people only eat, receive treatment and pay for utilities - these are all expenses that you cannot postpone. And there inflation is not 4%, as the government likes to say, but all 12%, if we take these positions. This problem is very serious".
Even if we assume that inflation on vital goods and services was 10% per year, then working pensioners lost half of their pensions during the five years of the moratorium. The confusion with the number of those who work in retirement says only that people solve their problems themselves, and the state, saving on indexing, is losing in something else, says Igor Nikolayev:
"They decide differently - someone agrees with the employer that he quits, the pension is indexed, and the pensioner receives his salary in an envelope. The state receives less tax. In this case, significant social insurance payments are not paid".
The Russian authorities are used to working as a fire brigade. There is only one principle, says Ruslan Grinberg: do not do it until you are allowed to, or the child does not cry - the mother does not understand. In a sense, this is a rational policy, although not overly social. The moratorium was introduced in 2016 after Crimea, when there were fears that it would be worse, but two years before the presidential elections. This has its own logic. Ruslan Grinberg believes:
- When there is euphoria and pride about Crimea, and at the same time you know that the world will not like it, and there will be all sorts of sanctions, bans, in this situation it is easier to explain that difficult times have come due to the annexation of Crimea, but the price is that the story begins with a besieged fortress. And since you find yourself in geopolitical loneliness, everyone should understand that they need to tighten their belts.
In their decision on a new indexation, the authorities will take into account political issues. 2021 - elective, working pensioners - millions. This is the category of citizens who go to vote. If we consider that they all have families, then we are already talking about several tens of millions of people. But Igor Nikolaev does not believe in general indexation, the maximum that can be expected is an increase in some categories of working pensioners:
"I am inclined to the version that for some part of working pensioners this indexation will be provided, but not from this year. The main thing here is that the solution to political problems takes place. Nobody from February 1 will even index some groups".
It's time to be generous to reduce social well-being. Although this hides a certain slyness. Igor Nikolaev recalls that billions will be given in the form of child benefits and other subsidies, but trillions will be deprived. Another example is raising the retirement age. Therefore, the real incomes of the population are not growing, but falling and cannot reach 2013 in any way. There is only one hope - that an economic upturn in the world will begin, and our fuel and raw materials will again be in demand. But so far the world is being swept by both the second and third waves of the pandemic.