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Kazakhstan’s pension system will go bankrupt if the retirement age isn’t raised - Interview

11 october 2012, 15:46
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Kazakhstan’s pension system will go bankrupt if the retirement age isn’t raised, KazTag Agency reports, citing Kazakhstan’s Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko as saying.

“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.

“When you, journalists, cover the issue … are you fully aware that there will be little to no oil to rely on in 60 years’ time? The oil production will reach its peak levels in 2021, with the figure to remain flat before 2032 or 2035 (…) and then the nation will see its oil production declining”, he said, adding that “oil money shouldn’t be wasted today”.

“And there might be a situation that the oil revenues will be sufficient to sustain my generation only (…) however, they might be insufficient to support our children or grandchildren”, the Central Bank Governor emphasized.

At the same time he stressed that in the recent 10 years the average life expectancy in Kazakhstan had grown by 3 years.

“For the following 10 years the life expectancy figure is set to further grow. The overall amount of pensions has been steadily increasing. Should we abstain from raising the retirement age, the number of pensioners will be growing from year to year. The size of the pension allowance has been also augmented by 25-30% (…) Pension-related budget expenses will be growing from year to year, with the life expectancy on the rise. What are the options? Has any of us seen reasonable estimates for the period 50 years from now”, Mr. Marchenko said.

Head of the National Bank also commented on Kazakhstanis’ intentions to hit the streets to protest against raising the retirement age for women.

“Even if I get fired, the problems will be there to stay: the demographics will not change; thanks God, people won’t be living less. Firing me won’t change anything: the oil reserves won’t grow. If firing me could double the nation’s oil reserves, I would encourage to dismiss me (…) When people urge to dismiss me because of the statements I voice (…) It’s bigotry (…) There is no other word for that”, he explained.

“Another misconception is that the retirement age for men in our country is 63 years old, with the average life expectancy for men standing at 63.6 years. It looks as if men lived for only half a year upon retirement. I want to reiterate that the actual figures are different. I have been citing these figures repeatedly, but it doesn’t get much coverage in the media. The figures are that on average men receive a pension allowance for 12.5 years, whereas women rely on pension allowance for 20.4 years. That’s it. The theory of most people dying almost right away upon retirement is an outright lie. Thanks God, the situation is absolutely different”, Mr. Marchenko added.

“If you want me not to broach the subject, I can stay silent. I am to retire quite shortly, and for me there is enough to rely on”, he summed up.

Source: Tengrinews.kz


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