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Lukashenko in favor of gradual increase in pension age

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said he is in favor of gradually raising the pension age by three years as he met with the employees of SOAO Kommunarka, BelTA informs.

“I think that we should do it gradually and in a calm manner. I am in favor of raising the pension age by three years, by six months every year. As a result, the retirement age will be increased by three years in six or seven years,” the head of state remarked.

Alexander Lukashenko said that people retire at 55 and 60 only in Belarus and Russia. “People should not think that if they reach the pre-retirement age they will be fired. Those who do not work well will be fired regardless of age. Everybody needs to work hard today. But if a pensioner can work, if he is a good specialist and can train a new worker to substitute him, he should be paid extra money as a mentor because it costs a lot to train a new specialist,” the President remarked.

The head of state explained why the country has to raise the pension age. “People's salaries are not high, and they are not increasing throughout the country. If salaries are not increased and prices edge up even by 0.5-1%, living standards are declining. What can we do? Reduce pensions? We cannot do it. We cannot hurt people,” the President said.

“As a parent I think that we should not lay this burden on our children,” Alexander Lukashenko added.

The President stressed that he does not see big problems with the creation of jobs. “We will create new jobs and we are doing this. It is essential to encourage directors of enterprises to create new jobs, while we will set up small, medium-sized and large enterprises where there will be new jobs,” the President stressed.

Alexander Lukashenko also focused on the structure of the pension system in Belarus. The President said that some time ago he was suggested to replace the existing system with the system of pension savings. He did not support this initiative and permitted to do it on a voluntary basis. “Perhaps, in the future the society will be prepared for the replacement of this system with the system of pension savings,” the head of state noted.