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08 April 2021, 16:22

Belarusian government's spending on pensions comparable to Europe's

MINSK, 8 April (BelTA) – The timing and the volume of pension revisions this year will be determined by financial capabilities of the budget of the pension fund. Belarusian Labor and Social Protection Minister Irina Kostevich made the statement at a conference of the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans on 8 April, BelTA has learned.

Nearly 2.5 million people are paid pensions allocated through the Labor and Social Protection Ministry. About 1.9 million of them are labor veterans.

Retirement pensions have been revised nine times since 2016 due to the growth of the average salary. As a result, in 2016-2020 the pension of a non-working pensioner increased by nearly 1.7 times in comparison with 2015 (the real growth was 1.2 times up).

In the five-year term the government spent Br55 billion on paying pensions. Nearly Br15 billion will be paid out as pensions in 2021 or 9% of the GDP. The figures are comparable to pension spending in European countries, the official noted. Irina Kostevich said that when and by how much pensions will be revised this year will depend on financial resources of the pension fund. The Labor and Social Protection Ministry is working on proposals to differentiate the size of pensions taking into account salaries.

The official also reminded about social support for the elderly. As many as 146 territorial centers and 83 residential care homes provide social services to the population. As much as Br3 billion was spent in 2016-2020 to keep them running.

Four sanatoriums operate as part of the Labor and Social Protection Ministry system. Every year they offer services to over 17,000 elderly people and people with disabilities. The state budget spent a total of Br45 million on the sanatorium treatment and rehabilitation of the elderly and the disabled in 2016-2020. In 2020 the operation of the sanatoriums was adjusted towards the rehabilitation of the citizens that have recovered from pneumonia and COVID-19.

Additional social support measures are granted to war veterans and labor veterans via government programs. The measures include annual visits to homes of veterans. As a result of the visits municipal authorities provide the necessary aid depending on the veterans' needs (home repairs, furnace repairs, electric wiring repairs, gas equipment repairs, installation or replacement of autonomous fire alarms). Such aid to the tune of nearly Br4.8 million was provided to over 60,000 citizens in 2016-2020. The work will continue in the new five-year term, with Br5.5 million earmarked for it.

Due to the 75th anniversary of Belarus' liberation and the victory in the Great Patriotic War veterans and war victims received one-time benefits to the tune of Br34.7 million.

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