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Pensions in Belarus

Pension allowances in the Republic of Belarus are a vital component in the social protection system. Pension provision covers every disabled person permanently residing within the country, regardless of citizenship, past activities or other circumstances.

 

 

As of early 2016, almost a third of the Belarusian population (27.1 percent) received a pension. Most do so according to the law ‘On Pension Provision’ (hereinafter referred to as the Law). Pension provision for military persons (and those equated to them), as well as for civil servants, for those affected by the Chernobyl disaster and for some others, follows special rules.

 

 

Pensions are paid:

  • according to age and/or disability;
  • in cases of loss of breadwinner (including to parentless children);
  • on the basis of career length;
  • for special merits to the Republic.

 

 

Labour pension is paid to men on turning 60 (on condition of having worked for at least twenty-five years) and to women on turning 55 (having worked at least twenty years). In addition, compulsory insurance contributions must have been paid for at least fifteen years: into the State Extra-budgetary Fund of Social Protection for the Population of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter referred to as insurance payments).

 

 

To allow early pensions for parents of children with disabilities, mothers who have raised five or more children, citizens disabled since childhood (including those born with dwarfism), war invalids, and mothers of soldiers who have died during their performance of military duty, payments must have been made for at least five years.

 

 

To realise a pension due to disability or loss of a breadwinner, special circumstances are set regarding career length (of the disabled person or breadwinner) and the duration of insurance payments is disregarded.

 

 

Retirement pensions are determined on the basis of length of service (up to forty-five years for men and forty for women) and earnings from which insurance payments were calculated. These are limited to four times the average wage in the country (with Individual Earnings Factor = 4, and, since 2016, to five times the average wage, with Individual Earnings Factor = 5) for individuals (with experience of thirty-six years or more for men and thirty-one years or more for women). The disability pension also depends on the degree of disability.

 

 

The career length calculation of pensions includes periods of work (other activities) for which insurance payments were made, as well as other socially significant activities, such as military service, care for children aged up to three years (but not more than nine years in total), and care for a disabled child or an invalid of the 1st group.

 

 

In 2015, labour pensions were calculated on the basis of earnings across twenty-one consecutive years of work. During periods of work or entrepreneurial activity, actual income (from which insurance payments are calculated) is taken into account. For other periods of activity, actual earnings are calculated on the basis of 40 percent of an average Belarusian salary, in the corresponding months.

 

 

From 2016, the period of calculation of earnings will increase by one year. The calculated pension cannot be less than the minimum amount set by legislation.

 

 

Disabled citizens not receiving a retirement pension receive social pensions. Since January 1st, 2015, social pensions for citizens failing to meet their minimal insurance period (fifteen years and five years for some categories) have been appointed to men turning sixty-five and to women turning sixty. This condition is not applied to children with disabilities, to those who have been disabled since childhood, or to children who have lost their breadwinner.

 

 

In order to maintain the level of pension provision, pensions are periodically recalculated, to reflect:

  • rising average wage (labour pensions are recalculated) within the existing pension funds;
  • changes to the average living wage per capita (minimal retirement pensions and social pensions are recalculated).

 

 

Pension provision for those working in states with which the Republic of Belarus has signed international treaties (agreements) in the field of social (pension) security is realised on the basis of provisions stipulated by those treaties (agreements), including:

  • the Agreement on Guarantees of Rights of CIS Citizens in the Field of Pension Provision, as of March 13th, 1992;
  • the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Moldova, on Guarantees of Citizens’ Rights in the Field of Pension Provision, as of September 12th, 1995;
  • the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of Ukraine, on Guarantees of Citizens’ Rights in the Field of Pension Provision, as of December 14th, 1995;
  • the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Lithuania on Social Provision, as of February 4th, 1999;
  • the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation on Co-operation in the Field of Social Provision, as of January 24th, 2006;
  • the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Latvia on Co-operation in the Field of Social Provision, as of February 29th, 2008; and
  • the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Co-operation in the Field of Social Provision, as of November 21st, 2013 (which came into force on July 15th, 2014). Work is underway on a draft administrative agreement on the application of the Agreement.

 

 

Recent measures in the field of pension provision aim to encourage citizens into long-term legal employment, contributing towards their pensions. They motivate able-bodied citizens to receive pensions in their old age, as well as to prevent parasitical approaches.

Guarantees in the field of compulsory pension provision and insurance can be complemented by programmes of voluntary supplementary pension insurance, as proposed by insurance companies.