Pensions in Russia

  • Oksana Sinyavskaya


The pension system, defined here as the involvement of the state in social security and social services (Cochrane/Clarke 1993), is a very important part of a welfare society. Pension policy affects most of society, as it determines the rules governing both the acquisition of pension rights during the contributing period and the weight of these rights by means of applied benefit formulas for the period of retirement. Whereas the economic aims of pensions are to prevent income decline after retirementand to decrease poverty among pensioners (Willmore 1999: 7), the social goals of the pension system are the same as those of the welfare state as a whole — to stabilize society by eliminating significant grounds for class struggle and to transform class conflicts into the competition of statuses (Esping-Andersen 1990). This stabilizing role of social policy is especially important in countries transforming their economies from the socialist into the capitalist mode. Changing economic institutions affects the stratification bases and, therefore, creates new lines of conflict in society. For social policy to be able to reduce these conflicts, it should be actively transformed. At the same time, the issue of support for social reforms, since they initiate the transformation of the social rights of citizens, is even more crucial than support for economic reforms. While talking about pension policy, one should also take into account that older people can hardly adapt themselves to a new style of living, as they constitute a non-active part of the population.


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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften/GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2004

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  • Oksana Sinyavskaya

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