Promises to Keep: Pension Provision in the Russian Federation

  • Cynthia Buckley
  • Dennis Donahue


In this chapter we examine the ways in which the legacy of Soviet pension policies and post-1991 economic and social trends have constrained policy options concerning pension reform in the Russian Federation and have prevented serious reevaluation of pension provision or pension equity. While the Russian government inherited a pension system beset with difficulties and ill equipped for Russia’s aging population, the Soviet pension system represented, in symbolic and financial terms, a widely valued social guarantee. We contend that the structural legacy and embedded expectations associated with the Soviet pension system thwart attempts to provide a unified and equitable pension system in the post-Soviet period. While making numerous changes to the pension system in the post-Soviet period, the federation government remains severely constrained in either fulfilling the promises of the previous Soviet system, or instituting the type of large-scale structural reforms that might contribute to the long-term solvency of the system.


Pension Fund Pension System Physical Infirmity Pension Reform Soviet Period 
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© Mark G. Field and Judyth L. Twigg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Buckley
  • Dennis Donahue

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