103210531 mediaitem103210530 - Putin softens pension reforms after outcry
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Putin softens pension reforms after outcry


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EPA

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Protests have taken place across Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has softened planned pension changes following angry protests and a slump in his approval rating.

He said the retirement age for women would be increased from 55 to 60 instead of to 63. But a five-year increase for men, to 65, would stay.

Mr Putin said the country’s working-age population was shrinking, making change essential.

Unions have warned that many will not live long enough to claim a pension.

Russian men have a life expectancy of 66 while for women it is 77, the World Health Organization says.

The issue has seen support for Mr Putin fall to 64% from 80%, according to VTsIOM state pollster.

Mr Putin said the move to raise the retirement age for men and women had been delayed for years and risked causing inflation and increasing poverty.

Postponing it further would threaten the stability and security of Russian society, he said.

“The tendencies we see today in the field of workforce productivity and demographics mean there is no time to waste,” he said, according to a translation of his remarks by Russian state media.

“Our decisions should be just and well-balanced,” he added.

Until his TV address he had attempted to distance himself from the row, and had in the past promised that the pension age would never be raised on his watch.



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