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24 Jun 2019

Plans to evaluate effectiveness of pension reform in Belarus

Plans to evaluate effectiveness of pension reform in Belarus

MINSK, 24 June (BelTA) – The Belarusian Finance Ministry will work together with the Labor and Social Protection Ministry to evaluate the effectiveness of the pension reform in Belarus. The statement was made by Belarusian Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich during an expanded-participation session of the Budget and Finance Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, BelTA has learned. The session was held to discuss bills on approving the reports on executing the budget of the state extrabudgetary fund for the social protection of the population and the central state budget of the year 2018.

The official said: “The head of state has given instructions to evaluate [the effectiveness of the reform]. It is too early to do it but we will make the evaluation together with the Labor and Social Protection Ministry.”

Specialists will have to evaluate how the reform has affected the level of pensions.

In 2018 the budget of the state extrabudgetary fund for the social protection of the population was executed with a surplus of Br315 million. Deputy Labor and Social Protection Minister Valery Kovalkov said that the fund’s revenues totaled Br13.9 billion while expenses amounted to Br13.6 billion. Most of the money was spent on paying pensions – Br10.5 billion (about 77.2% of the total sum), 11% up from 2017.

Valery Kovalkov stressed: “Expenses were financed in full and on time using state social insurance.”

In 2018 the average pension totaled Br342.23, with the average retirement pension at Br352.11 and the minimal pension at Br255.1. The real size of granted pensions rose by 8.3% in comparison with the previous year. The ratio of the average retirement pension to the average salary was 36.8%.

A pension reform is supposed to be implemented in Belarus over the course of six years (from 2017 to 2022) in line with Belarus president decree No.137 of 11 April 2016. The minimal age for a claiming a retirement pension has been raised by six months every six months since 1 January 2017. By early 2022 the minimal age for retirement pensions is supposed to reach 58 years for women and 63 years for men.

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