Particularities of Russian Pensioners' Living Standards
Department of socio-economic research Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science Moscow, Russia
Ageing population characterized by increasing rate of population that needs state support and decreasing rate of those who provide it, leads not only to raising the burden of state social expenditures, but also to drop in the level of pensioners´ support. Such a situation raises actual risk for elderly population to find themselves among those ones with poor quality of life. In Russia this risk is especially actual.
Based on materials of three INTAS projects devoted to the problems of social policy (1995-2006) the report provides the results of analyses of empiric data including: Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, panel research, 2005-2007 (more than 12000 respondents every year); three pan-Russian surveys (2006, 2008 and 2009) (nearly 2000 respondents each of them).
According to the results: The majority of pensioners due to the low government transfers is concentrated in low-income segments of the population that does not guarantee them an adequate level of consumption, including the possibility to use vital services, for example health care; Russian pensioners' health is much worse than the health of their peers from the developed countries (Euro-Quol (EQ-5D) methodic was used along with other methods): in Great Britain 36.5% of people aged 61 are healthy, in Russia - 8.2%. So health of this group requires additional costs for treatment and care; Pensioners´ standard of living decreases also because of exhaustion of resource potential, particularly durable goods that can´t be renewed because of lack of money; Reduction of contacts after retirement reduces access to resources of social networks and possibility of solving some problems with their help that negatively affects the living standards; Due to the widening of the gap between salaries and pension payments pensioners turn from «providers» of the households (as, in some cases, it was in the 1990's) into households´ «dependant load» and remarkably reduce its standard of living.
In general the report indicates that bad economic situation of Russian pensioners is a bright demonstration of disability of social policy to fulfill its liabilities. By the way this situation has been only worsening in current world economic crises.