MINSK, 10 November (BelTA) – Pensions in Belarus will be increased by 5% on 1 December. This decision of the head of state was announced at the meeting to discuss plans to streamline the work of the Social Security Fund and measures to strengthen support for pensioners and disabled children on 10 November, BelTA has learned.
Labor and Social Security Minister Irina Kostevich was the keynote speaker. Attending the meeting were also Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko who oversees social security matters, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Maksim Yermolovich, Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov, Minsk Mayor Vladimir Kukharev and Minsk Oblast Governor Aleksandr Turchin.
“I know that the fund [the Social Security Fund] seems to be doing well this year. It is even posting a certain surplus. Why would we accumulate this money, stash it, especially now? Therefore, I have signed a decree on increasing [pension benefits]. We will raise pensions for our pensioners by 5-6% on 1 December, it is not much, but anyway. I must say, if we take into account the macroeconomic situation, as is done all over the world, pensioners should not blame us for a small increase in pension benefits,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He noted that before that, pensions had already been increased twice this year.
"I would like to emphasize that this is an average figure. That's above the inflation today. Well, if we take another step, we will outrun inflation," the Belarusian leader stressed. “You know, pensioners may hear my reasoning today and say: ‘Probably, he is not on top of his brief. Some things have risen in prices by 10%, even 20%.' That's why I emphasize that this is the average figure."
The head of state further clarified his thesis, explained his actions in the field of pricing: "This is why I turned to the issue of prices several times. Today I want to emphasize. I know that a pensioner does not buy branded things. He lives modestly and buys mostly food, simple clothes. Perhaps, prices for some groups of goods have increased by more than 10%… or even higher. That was the reason we decided to regulate prices and develop a pricing system. So that our people feel that the state sees these problems and is doing its best to address them. In December or January, we will meet and see how effectively the government and governors are working to restrain prices."
Aleksandr Lukashenko also praised the practice of paying pensions in advance ahead of national holidays, like 7 November for example. “Well done. This may seem a small thing, but it is great to receive pensions two or three days earlier sometimes,” he said.
“In short, the fund is working well this year. It has not asked for budgetary funds, has not taken any loans. The fund has been doing everything itself. There is a small surplus and we can increase pensions a little from 1 December,” the president said.
The labor and social security minister confirmed that the social security fund is posting a surplus and has enough resources. Therefore there was a proposal to index labor pensions. The head of state supported the proposal. “Thank you for supporting our proposal to raise pensions by 5%,” Irina Kostevich said.
As a result in December the average pension will go up Br125 from December 2021.
Labor pensions have been recalculated twice this year: by 7 % on 1 March, and by 10% on 1 August.