The "estates" continue to stand apart - their pension guarantees were again practically not affected by these changes. What to do about this social divide?
According to Rosstat, in 2020 the average size of old-age pensions for non-working pensioners in Russia is 15878.4 thousand rubles. But what makes up this average temperature in the hospital?
In Soviet times, there was no big difference between the pensions of the country's top officials, law enforcement officials and other citizens. Today, prime ministers, State Duma speakers and senators, ministers and deputies, when retiring, retain most of their income. Former presidents are guaranteed life support in the amount of 75% of the salary of the current head of state. The percentage pegging of pensions of civil servants to salaries was legislatively fixed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1995.
“Inequality in the pensions of civil servants, persons substituting for public positions, and other citizens in Russia arises from additional payments that appeared back in the 90s. The goal of the initiative then was, on the contrary, to lower the retirement age in order to accelerate the retirement of senior officials approaching a high age, in order to make room for new personnel without delay and quickly. They decided to stimulate this process in this way - with a guaranteed high pension”, - says Vladimir Yuzhakov, director of the RANEPA Center for Public Administration Technologies, about the emergence of privileges in the pensions of officials.
Later, they introduced the possibility, with the help of special orders, to postpone the retirement time of individual, still in demand employees who had reached retirement age, and now the high need for replacement of personnel has disappeared, the expert believes.
Pensions in numbers
So how much will the current top officials receive when they leave their posts?
Oleg Bogdanov, leading analyst at QBF, helped to sort out the calculations.
Ex-prime ministers, like other former high-ranking officials, can count on a labor pension upon reaching the retirement age - an average of 17-18 thousand rubles. But this stable part is only a smaller share in their monthly provision. All ex-prime ministers claim a supplement to their pension in the amount of 55-75% of the salary of the current prime minister. Those who have worked in government positions from 1 to 3 years receive the minimum additional payment, the maximum - more than 3 years. Additional payments are not allowed for prime ministers and other senior officials who have worked for less than a year.
According to the latest published Declaration on income, expenses, property and property obligations of members of the Government of the Russian Federation, the average monthly income of Prime Minister D. Medvedev in 2018. amounted to 826.5 thousand rubles, respectively, all ex-prime ministers can apply for monthly payments in the range of 454.6-619.9 thousand rubles. Information on the salary of Mikhail Mishustin as chairman of the government has not yet been published. Theoretically, eight people apply for the premier's pension supplement - Sergei Stepashin (68 years old), Viktor Zubkov (78 years old), Mikhail Kasyanov (62 years old), Mikhail Fradkov (69 years old) continues to hold public office, so he has not received the supplement to the pension.
Pensions of the heads of the chambers of parliament
Federal Law "On the status of a member of the Federation Council and the status of a deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation" No. 3 FZ of 1994. actually equates the speakers of both chambers with the prime minister's status, including in terms of the amount of social guarantees and pensions.
The chairmen of the Federation Council and the State Duma can count on 75% of the salary - Valentina Matviyenko (71), Sergey Naryshkin (65, now the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service), and in the near future - Vyacheslav Volodin. All have more than 3 years of experience in this position. Nevertheless, the pensions of the speakers of the chambers of parliament should be less than the prime minister's - the labor part of their pensions is absorbed by the additional payment, and is not added to it. For the prime minister's supplement to the pension, ex-chairmen of the Federation Council Vladimir Shumeyko (75 years old) and Yegor Stroyev (83 years old) and ex-speakers of the State Duma Ivan Rybkin (73 years old) and Boris Gryzlov (69 years old) can formally apply today.
There is a different system for calculating pensions for ministers. Unlike ex-presidents, ex-prime ministers and former heads of the lower and upper chambers of parliament, whose pensions are more than half tied to the salaries of the current top officials, the ministers' pension is more tied to seniority. In addition to the labor pension, the heads of ministries 17-18 thousand rubles. there is also an additional payment of 55-75% of the remuneration of the current minister. But in order to earn it, you need to stay in the minister's chair for at least three years, for the maximum allowance - more than 6 years. So, the monetary remuneration of the minister today is 840.8 thousand rubles. per month, respectively, those who have been minister for 3 to 6 years receive 55% of his salary. Those who have worked as a minister for 6-10 years receive the maximum 75% of their pension, that is, 630.6 thousand rubles.
Deputies and senators at the legislative level are equated to federal ministers. Their salary in 2020 approached 400 thousand rubles. - which is 10 times higher than the average salary in the country.
The former president of Russia, who has resigned from all government positions, is guaranteed life-long maintenance at the rate of 75% of the salary of the current head of state - currently more than 536 thousand rubles. (According to the "Information on income, property owned by the President of the Russian Federation by right of ownership, deposits in banks, securities, property-related obligations" published on the Kremlin's official website, the average monthly income of President Vladimir Putin is 720.5 thousand rubles). Dmitry Medvedev, as a former president, can also claim the same additional payments; he will retire in 11 years. There are currently no former retired presidents in Russia. Since 1994, the first president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachyov, has been assigned a pension of 40 minimum wages.
Contrary to popular belief, in the government of Mikhail Mishustin today, working retirees can be re-read on the fingers. The deputy chairman of the Russian government and the plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev (64) is approaching the retirement age. Of the current ministers, only two have reached retirement age - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (70 years old) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (65 years old). The prime minister himself, Mikhail Mishustin, is 54 years old. The youngest ministers - Alexander Kozlov (for the development of the Far East and the Arctic), Anton Kotyakov (labor and social protection), Olga Lyubimova (culture) are 39 years old. The average age of the Russian government is 51.
Two years older - the lower house of the Russian parliament. The average age of deputies of the State Duma of the seventh (current) convocation is 53 years. However, three out of eight deputy chairmen have already approached the retirement age: Alexander Zhukov (64 years old), Ivan Melnikov (69 years old), Alexey Gordeyev (65 years old).
However, the leaders of the systemic opposition are not getting younger: Gennady Zyuganov is 76 years old, Vladimir Zhirinovsky is 74 years old, Sergei Mironov.
There are not so many pensioners in the governor's corps: the head of Dagestan Vladimir Vasiliev - 70 years old, the head of Mordovia Vladimir Volkov - 65 years old, the head of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Uss - 65 years old, the head of the Belgorod region Yevgeny Savchenko - 70 years old, the head of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Natalya Komarova - 64 years old.
The upper house of the Russian parliament is much older. A quarter of all members of the Federation Council could have already retired if the pension reform had not happened - their age has exceeded 60. Speaker Valentina Matviyenko is 71 years old. Of the six deputy chairmen, two have reached retirement age - Galina Karelova (70 years old), Yuri Vorobyov (72 years old).
All the abovementioned servants and elected representatives of the people still prefer work to pensions, but after retirement, their incomes will decrease minimally.
“Even though our top officials are citizens of Russia, the procedure for pension provision is provided for them in a special way, by separate acts they have brought themselves into a separate cohort of pensioners. His hand is the ruler, as they say. On a vacation by age go from 55-75% of the level of pay at the time of retirement. In my opinion, this is completely wrong, there should be no special conditions for civil servants, - says the economist Igor Nikolayev. - First, the unity of the state pension system is being violated. We have introduced a point system for Russians, then let everything - both officials and the nomenklatura also receive their pensions in a general manner. A higher pension will thus be paid to them at the expense of the previous higher salaries, and there is no need to duplicate incentives for the same parameter (the parameter "high salary"). Secondly, unreasonable, monstrous inequality always lowers the authority of the authorities. And judging by the fact that we try not to advertise the pensions of senior officials and the special procedure for calculating them, they are well aware of this at the top.
History of the issue
How did the gap in pensions of top officials and all other citizens, even the same state employees, only of the lower and middle level, form? And what to do with this “mistake of the past” today?
This issue has a long history, says Evgeny Gontmakher , Doctor of Economics, Professor, Board Member of the Institute of Contemporary Development
- We omit military service (there is its own separate system) and focus on civil servants - ministers, senators, deputies. In fact, when they reach retirement age, all of them, just like all other citizens, receive a regular insurance pension, which depends on earnings - this is an average of 14-15 thousand rubles in the country. The chasm arises from a number of bonuses, which depend on the category of service, salary, length of service, awards, and so on.
Legislatively, additional payments were fixed in the 90s under Boris Yeltsin, before that, in Soviet times, all-Union and republican officials received personal pensions, which were only 2-3 times higher than the pensions of fellow citizens. Personal pensions were associated with work in the CPSU and other organs of the then government and were abolished as a class with the disappearance of the USSR. In the 90s, when top management and businessmen first began to have fairly high incomes, their incomes in those years could easily reach $ 5-10 thousand a month, the question arose - how to attract qualified personnel to the civil service and stimulate their work? Civil service jobs were not considered prestigious. Promising people were more likely to go into business or go abroad. The salaries themselves were really low, they were not particularly raised, says the professor, who himself worked at that time in the economic bloc of the Soviet government.
How to solve this personnel issue? In the 90s, Yeltsin's first decrees were issued on additional payments to the pensions of civil servants, including senior officials. A civil servant received the right to a substantial supplement to his pension if he worked for the state for at least 15 years and retired from service. It was kind of a nice delayed bonus. Although those who receive these allowances are not so many - several tens of thousands of people. Pensions for officials in the regions have also been adjusted according to the models of the federal center. It spread like an epidemic throughout the country in the 2000s. In addition, the Office of the President has retained the "Kremlin medicine" - good free medical care for federal civil servants.
In the fat 2000s, it was decided to significantly increase the salaries of civil servants, especially officials of the highest and middle levels. Today, in a typical ministry, its head receives a salary 10 times higher than a specialist in the same lower-level department. As you advance in your career, the salary grows exponentially. Why was this decision made? Oil and gas revenues have increased, and the state has the opportunity to offer wages that are competitive compared to the commercial sector.
“This is where the mistake was made. At that time, it was a politically wrong move to leave Yeltsin's system of premiums on the pensions of senior officials and other officials. After all, the salaries of managers have leveled off with the top echelon of the business sector and there is nothing more to stimulate. Unlike the 90s, the civil service is considered prestigious, young people dream of entering it. Stability, even in any crisis, in any coronavirus, career advancement, acquaintance growth, the ability to leave the service to a good place in business thanks to these connections. Therefore, additional pension incentives are no longer needed. It is necessary to cancel the pension "bonuses", - emphasizes Gontmakher.
Upon retirement, top officials, due to their high salaries - and these are hundreds of thousands of rubles a month - are guaranteed to receive their labor share of 25-30 thousand, which is 2 times higher than the average of other citizens. But since your long working years, your salary is ten times higher than the salaries of other people, since you have benefits, perhaps you can save from your huge salary for a decent old age? You can just count. If you have a salary of several hundred thousand rubles a month, you can add real estate to your pension, for example, two apartments - one of them can be rented out in retirement. Plus, you probably have savings. If the car is a service car, housing is also, and it is not difficult to get a free apartment from high-ranking officials, you did not spend on this whole business, you did not pay a mortgage for half your life, then you could well save a million dollars. If you put them on a deposit, even at one percent per year, this is $ 10,000 per year of interest or 50-60 thousand rubles of additional pension to your pension monthly. The simplest management of their income during their working life allows senior officials to legally save for a decent old age.
How to eliminate inequality in pensions?
“How would it be logical, in my opinion, to act? A kind of social contract is needed. Now the salaries of top officials are several hundred thousand rubles a month. In fact, it is proportional to the responsibility and the functions that they should perform, I am now omitting the discussion about the quality of the work of the current State Duma or Cabinet. But in accordance with the functions that are performed in these positions - irregular working hours, intensive work, publicity, and so on - these figures are quite adequate. But, in the end, instead of premiums, the state at the expense of the same budget could well insure its employees through non-state pension funds (NPF). You retire - you receive your regular labor pension and an additional insurance payment from the NPF, which is secured by contributions from the state and deductions from the salary of the official himself. Here is a quite decent pension for you, ”the expert comments.
So far, a bad scenario is being realized. Senior officials retire with the labor part (the one that all pensioners receive) + 55-75% of the official salary. There are other allowances for this. A lot is done here in manual mode. The minister has worked in his position for several years and can receive 200-250 thousand rubles a month in retirement.
Ordinary pensioners, those who have worked for 25-30 years or more, are acutely aware of this inequality. Question: "And why do they receive such pensions?" is in the air. This injustice teases people very much. After 2014, the President cut the salaries of officials by 10%, and it would have been better to remove additional payments to pensions - from the point of view of public opinion, this would be appreciated. The decision to abolish pension allowances for senior officials and other officials is a purely political issue, Gontmakher said.
"What to do? First, by an effort of political will these "estate" allowances must be eliminated. Secondly, in countries where there is a normal competitive political system and opposition, change of government, democracy, fair elections, all such privileges have been cleared from officials long ago. And here in Russia, which was trying so unsuccessfully back in the 90s to become a civilized country, these privileges, just canceled after the end of the USSR, began to grow again, as they grow in any non-democratic country, ”the expert notes.
Another privileged group of citizens
Political scientist Ekaterina Shulman draws attention to the fact that in addition to top officials in Russia there is a much larger group of people whose social and pension coverage is very different from the social guarantees of other citizens.
The inequality in our pension system is indeed enormous, but it does not boil down to the fact that senior officials receive more pensions than everyone else. It cannot be said that if you dispossess them all, then the rest of the pensioners will immediately feel good. From the point of view of the balance sheet of the Pension Fund, they do not make the weather, she notes.
“During the pension reform last year, a more significant problem emerged. There is a fairly large category of citizens to whom the increase in the retirement age did not apply. They retire much earlier than others, they are counted in the length of service in the army, the time of study, and if you also worked in territories equated to the northern (and this is, for example, the Krasnoyarsk Territory), or some other geographic bonus - then free already at 35, like a ballerina. Their pensions are much higher than that of other citizens. They are served in the system of rich departmental medicine, which exists completely in parallel with the system of insurance medicine (both compulsory and voluntary health insurance). Served in it free of charge, including after retirement. And these are not top officials, of whom there are hundreds throughout the country, they are employees of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, investigative committee, courts and special services, and there are already millions of them ...They can receive large pensions with the current average life expectancy of 40 years - more than worked. This is a real scenario that concerns millions of our fellow citizens, not several hundred deputies, senators, the president and the prime minister. This is class inequality, which is enshrined in the law”, - says Ekaterina Shulman.
“People assigned to certain departments live and are provided according to one rules and standards, and everyone else who receives a labor or social pension - according to others. This is indeed a great injustice, which is perceived as something natural, because it has been familiar to people since Soviet times. But the Soviet era is no longer there, and everyone lives in a rather brutal monopoly capitalism, and some people continue to live in a world where there is free medicine, service housing, which easily becomes private property, where they retire early, receive numerous benefits. All this is very reminiscent of the feudal system, in which there is a taxable estate - those who pay taxes, and there are those who do not pay taxes, but only enjoy the benefits at the expense of others, ”says Ekaterina Shulman.