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Kazakhstan to gradually raise retirement age for women

13 march 2013, 10:34
0
Labor Minister Serik Abdenov. ©primeminister.kz
Labor Minister Serik Abdenov. ©primeminister.kz
Kazakhstan’s Majilis (lower chamber) has seen draft amendments into the country’s retirement legislation. When unveiling the draft amendments, Labor Minister Serik Abdenov announced March 12 that plans are there to gradually raise the retirement age for women from the current 58 y.o. to 63 y.o. within a decade.

“The changes should be gradual. For women who will be retiring before 2018 the retirement age will be annually raised by half a year within the following 10 years”, according to Mr. Abdenov.

Vice PM Kairat Kelimbetov stressed that the retirement age would be first raised in 2014.

“Women are currently responsible for 3 800 000 pension savings accounts (45% of all the accounts). The average savings amount is 25% lower than that for men. The difference in savings is assigned to maternity and child care leaves and earlier retirement of women as compared to men. As you know, women currently have the right to retire at 58. The second reason is gender gap in terms of salaries. For the last 5 years the average monthly salary of women has been standing at 66-68% of the average salary of men”, Mr. Abdenov elaborated.

Late September 2012 Tengrinews.kz reported that the then newly appointed Kazakhstan Minister of Labor and Social Protection Serik Abdenov does not support the idea of raising the retirement age.

“I don't believe that the issue of retirement age has to be reviewed. I don’t see any necessity to raise the retirement age. The current age threshold was coordinated with international organizations, i.e. high level discussions are needed to alter this standard. I think that this issue is not going to be on our agenda,” Serik Abdenov said at that time.

Kazakhstan’s central bank Governor Gregory Marchenko was among the prominent officials who spoke in favor of setting an equal retirement age for women and men in Kazakhstan. “If the retirement age isn’t raised, the country’s pension system will go bankrupt. It’s just a matter of time; and of course the timing depends on the volume of oil revenues”, he said at a press-conference October 10, 2012.

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