09 января 2013 23:43

Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko refuses to comment on efforts to raise retirement age

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The retired in Almaty. © Yaroslav Radlovsky The retired in Almaty. © Yaroslav Radlovsky

Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko refused to further comment on efforts to raise the retirement age for women when speaking at a press-conference January 9. “The National Bank has completed its task [of working out recommendations on the country’s pension system reforms]”, Mr. Marchenko said, adding that all the recommendations had already been forwarded to a government’s working group headed by Vice PM Kairat Kelimbetov. Ac-cording to him, the Government and the Parliament will be responsible for any final decisions. Mr. Marchenko didn’t comment on any specific timeframe for the reforms. “Back in 1997 pen-sion-related legislation drafts were seen as urgent (…) Back then the draft was considered and turned into an actual law within a month (…) It’s hard to say if it will be fast this time”, he said. Back in September 2012 President had tasked Mr. Marchenko and the National Bank with working out suggestions on how to reform the country’s pension system. In an interview for KazTag Agency early March 2012 Gregory Marchenko said that “raising the retirement age for women up to 63 y.o. is an issue of gender equality (…) According to the World Bank, women live an average 20.5 years after retirement, whereas men live 12 years”. “If the retirement age [in the ageing Kazakhstan society] 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. Tengrinews.kz reported mid-October that a rally against the initiative by Gregory Marchenko to raise the women’s retirement age to 63 had been held in Almaty. Besides the initiative, active members of Kazakhstan social movements and trade unions requested the government to ban pri-vate pension funds.


Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko refused to further comment on efforts to raise the retirement age for women when speaking at a press-conference January 9. “The National Bank has completed its task [of working out recommendations on the country’s pension system reforms]”, Mr. Marchenko said, adding that all the recommendations had already been forwarded to a government’s working group headed by Vice PM Kairat Kelimbetov. Ac-cording to him, the Government and the Parliament will be responsible for any final decisions. Mr. Marchenko didn’t comment on any specific timeframe for the reforms. “Back in 1997 pen-sion-related legislation drafts were seen as urgent (…) Back then the draft was considered and turned into an actual law within a month (…) It’s hard to say if it will be fast this time”, he said. Back in September 2012 President had tasked Mr. Marchenko and the National Bank with working out suggestions on how to reform the country’s pension system. In an interview for KazTag Agency early March 2012 Gregory Marchenko said that “raising the retirement age for women up to 63 y.o. is an issue of gender equality (…) According to the World Bank, women live an average 20.5 years after retirement, whereas men live 12 years”. “If the retirement age [in the ageing Kazakhstan society] 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. Tengrinews.kz reported mid-October that a rally against the initiative by Gregory Marchenko to raise the women’s retirement age to 63 had been held in Almaty. Besides the initiative, active members of Kazakhstan social movements and trade unions requested the government to ban pri-vate pension funds.
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