ISSN 2330-717X

Young Russians Terrified By Prospect Of Living On 200 Rubles A Day When They Retire – OpEd


The Audit Chamber reports that after paying for housing, utilities, medicine, and good of first necessity, the average pensioner in Russia has only 200 rubles (3.30 US dollars) a day left over. Many older people are able to cope with this, experts say; but young people considering that prospect for themselves are horrified.

Aleksandr Pozdeyev of the URA news agency reports that their negative reaction to this news has lit up Russian social networks; and polls confirm that young Russians don’t want their own pension years or those of their children to be like that, something that is leading many of them to think about emigration (

According to Yelena Grishina of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, “a large segment” of Russia’s pensioners live below the poverty line, but the incomes of the majority of them remain 1.5 times the official minimum.  If there are any economic shocks, however, many more could be pushed downward.

Aleksandr Safonov of the Academy of Labor and Social Relations says that “pensions at the level of 6,000 rubles (95 US dollars) a month exist but most average out at 14,000 rubles (230 US dollars), a figure that he acknowledges is still low by world standards but one that allows them to keep their heads above water.

Many young people, he and other analysts and political figures say, have a very different attitude toward money and income than their parents. If their parents are prepared to tighten their belts and make do, young people won’t. They don’t save as much as their parents did, and they live on credit, making the prospects of life in retirement much worse.

Such attitudes among young people, of course, could prompt them to protest if indeed, as is likely, most of them decide to remain in Russia rather than seek their fortune abroad. Unless pensions are significantly raised, something possible only if the economy significantly improves, the view of the young about their future prospects could have ever more serious consequences.

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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