Putin signs bill that raises Russia’s retirement age

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Putin signs bill that raises Russia's retirement age

Russians will have to wait a few extra years to receive their pensions. President Vladimir Putin signed a bill raising the retirement age by five years, and this change is deeply unpopular among the public.

CGTN’s Dan Ashby filed this report from Moscow.

Follow Dan Ashby on Twitter @danielashby

Over the last three months, thousands in Russia have marched against the proposals to raise the national retirement age.

President Putin’s poll ratings crashed an unprecedented 13 percent, prompting him to address the nation.

“It is indeed impossible to delay it even further,” President Putin said. “That would be irresponsible and can lead to grave consequences for the economy and social sphere, to most negatively affect the lives of millions of people because, and now it is already clear, the state will have to do it anyway sooner or later. But the later – the harsher those decisions would be.”

According to a national poll, 90 percent of Russians still oppose the reforms. Even so, the protests did not stop the bill. Russian men will now retire at age 65, just a year earlier than their average life expectancy.

“Big dissatisfaction. Big criticism. People first of all think that it’s unfair,” Denis Volkov of the Levada Center said. ” So it’s not the bureaucrats who will pay, it’s not the oligarchs who will pay – just ordinary people.”

The government says it is the only way to balance the books and ensure sustainable pensions. Russians will want to see some of those economic benefits they’ve been promised, but according to the research, their confidence is dwindling.