BOCHAROV RUCHEI, September 18 (RIA Novosti)
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President Vladimir Putin criticized the preparation of the 2013-2015 budget on Tuesday for not taking into account the cost of pension reform.
"Today is what date, the 18th? What did we agree? That by end the end of September we would have proposals from the government, written proposals on pension reform," Putin said at a meeting on the budget. "There are no such proposals yet," he added. "What kind of budget is it you have calculated for the next two years which doesn't address one of the key issues facing the economy?"
Russia faces a looming funding crisis for its pension system, with an aging population and falling number of workers to support more retirees. Pension reform has been a sensitive issue, with strong public opposition to a raising of the retirement age. The government has significantly raised pension payments in the last few years.
In April, Putin, then Russian Premier and President-elect, said in his Duma address that raising the retirement age was unacceptable and unnecessary.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in June pension reform in Russia will not include an increase in the pension age.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in mid-June the pension age in Russia should be increased to 63 years for both men and women.
Russia's Finance Ministry has proposed increasing the pension age from 2015. The ministry said the age should be raised gradually, by six months for women and three months for men annually until both categories reach an equal retirement age. Currently, women retire at the age of 55 and men at the age of 60 in Russia.
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