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New Kazakhstan Labor Minister sees no need to raise retirement age

27 september 2012, 12:57
Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Serik Abdenov. Photo courtesy of inform.kz
Serik Abdenov. Photo courtesy of inform.kz
New Kazakhstan Minister of Labor and Social Protection Serik Abdenov does not support the idea of raising the retirement age, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the Minister.

“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.

Currently the retirement age is set at 58 for women and 63 for men. Kazakhstan National Commission for Women's Affairs and Family-Demographic Policies recently called to increase the retirement for women to 63 to make it equal to that of men. The proposal was made as part of the presentation of the 2011-2020 National Plan for Improvement of Quality of Life of Elderly People. The commission said that the initiative would promote gender equality by creating equal conditions for women and men. Besides, its referred to the fact that many people continue working past their retirement age.

The idea generated a wave of heated discussions, but found no solid support in the society. 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 and President Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed him to work out suggestions to reform the pension system. According to Marchenko, the retirement age should be leveled for men and women in Kazakhstan if for no other reason than because the women of the older generation are more qualified and experienced.

Serik Abdenov was appointed Minister of Labor and Social Protection on September 26. Later he was introduced by Prime-Minister Serik Akhmetov to the Ministry’s personnel.

By Gulnara Zhandagulova

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