Authorities deprived military retirees promised money
More than 2.5 million military pensioners will not receive a lump sum of 5 thousand rubles although their pensions were not indexed up in 2016, as well as civil.
In 2017 military pensions would be only raised by 4%.
Military retirees are not subject to the act of a lump sum payment in 5 thousand rubles, with which authorities decided to replace the second indexation of pensions in 2016. This payment was charged only to recipients of pensions from the Pension Fund, as it was told in the relevant bill, which the State Duma considered in the first reading and now prepares it for the second. Military pensioners receive benefits not from the Pension Fund of Russia, but from the security agencies — the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service and etc., as it is written in the law on provision of pensions of military, their families and the persons equated to them. Thus, from the number of recipients of lump sum payments more than 2.5 million people are eliminated. The Ministry of Finance in the explanatory note to the draft of the three-year budget estimated the number of receivers of military pensions in 2017 at 2,58 million, and this at the same time, when lump sum payment should be added to the general pensions.
The bill of lump sum payment was prepared by the Ministry of Labor, its media service confirmed that the regulation does not extend to military pensioners. It referred to the pensioners, who, as of December 31, 2016, received pensions from the Pension Fund, explained the Ministry’s media service to RBC, referring to the speech of the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev concerning this question. On September 14, on the eve of the State Duma elections, Medvedev had in fact said the payment was meant to all receivers of pensions from the Pension Fund of Russia. Neither the prime minister, nor representatives of the government acting in the Duma focused their attention on the fact that because of features of the formulation a significant amount of military pensioners will not fall under operation of the law.
The Ministry of Labor did not explain RBC the reason of an exception of military pensioners from among receivers of lump sum payment. Media service of the Ministry of Defense, which pays pensions to most of military pensioners, did not comment on the situation.
Only those retired military men, who earned civil pension after military service will receive the payment from the Pension Fund, federal official told RBC. Besides that the payment is meant for the military pensioners, who chose insurance (civil) pension instead of military, other federal official added. The right to choose pensions is given to military pensioners by the law on provision of pensions. The source of RBC does not have data on the number of military pensioners, who chose civil pensions.
Nothing in exchange
Civil pensioners will receive lump sum payment of 5 thousand rubles at the beginning of 2017. By this payment the government compensated incomplete indexation of pensions in 2016 — by 4% instead of 12,9% (inflation of previous year) promised by the law. Pensions of military were also not indexed up in 2016 – their benefits, as well as benefits of civil pensioners, were from February 1 increased only by 4%. And this in spite of the fact that the existing May decree No. 604 issued by the President Vladimir Putin in 2012 directly orders to raise military pensions by 2% over inflation.
In Putin's decree it is not specified what kind of inflation is considered in case of increase in military pensions - actual from previous year or forecast from the next year, but four percent indexation did not correspond to either that or another. The 2016 budget laid forecasted inflation at 6.4%. In 2013-2014 military pensions were indexed twice a year – from January 1 and from October 1, but in 2016 there were no second indexation from October 1. This was confirmed to RBC by the media service of the Ministry of Defense: “In 2016 indexation of military pensions was carried out from February 1”.
According to the draft of Government amendments to the budget of 2016, which the Duma prepares for the second reading, there also will not be indexation of military pensions later this year. Amendments provide increase in financing under article about military pensions less than by 2% (approximately by 13 billion rubles), but it is connected with the increase of pensioners in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Security Service during the year, it is written in the explanatory note to the draft of amendments. In 2015 military pensions were also indexed only once instead of twice a year – form October 1 by 7,5%. That increase also did not reach indicators forecast inflation for 2015 (12,2%, according to the law on the budget), and actual for 2014 (11,4%). The draft budget 2017 provides increased funding for the article on military pensions by 2.3% from 646,7 billion rubles in 2016 to 661,8 billion rubles. According to the bill prepared by the Ministry of Finance, which the government submitted to the state Duma on Friday along with a draft budget for 2017-2019, military pensions will be again indexed only once by 4%. The bill calls for an increase from 69,45 to 72,23% (i.e. 4%) of shares of monetary allowances (salary) of military, of which by law their pension is calculated.
Pensions of civil pensioners will be indexed more – according to the actual inflation of 2016, which is expected to be in the amount of 5,8%.
Four percent indexation of military pensions corresponds to the level of forecast inflation for 2017, but it does not account for the requirement of the May decree of Putin about the need to annually increase military pensions by 2% above inflation. Accordingly, the requirement of this decree will not be executed for the third consecutive year.
The media services of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defense did not answer the question of RBC, whether not completely indexed pensions of the military retirees will be compensated. “The sizes and terms of indexation of military pensions are established by legislative bodies during the adoption of the Federal law on the Federal budget for corresponding fiscal year. Indexation of military pensions in 2017 will be made, according to the decisions made by the government of the Russian Federation”, declared the media service of the Ministry of Defense on a request of RBC.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the average size of military pensions in Russia, after increase in early 2017, will amount to 21.3 thousand rubles (256 thousand rubles per year on average per recipient). It is much more than the average civilian retirement, which in August 2016 was 12.4 thousand rubles (the data of the Rosstat, there is not recent data).
According to the law on pension provision of military, their pensions should be reviewed annually simultaneously with the indexation of monetary allowances (salaries) of the military. Pensions should be raised by the same amount, which salaries of military are indexed, one of interlocutors of RBC specified. However, military salaries, increased considerably in 2012, have not been increased since 2013 – the legislation, which prescribes to index these salaries annually, was frozen all the while.
As a result since 2013 military pensions were raised only by the annual increase in the share of monetary allowances, which is considered in case of pension accrual to the servicemen. Under the law this share of an allowance should grow annually by 2% (can be even mote, taking into account forecast inflation for the next year increase), until it will not reach 100%. his provision has been frozen for two years, and the Ministry of Finance proposes to extend the freeze until January 1, 2018, follows from the bill introduced on Friday in the State Duma. In 2015, the Ministry of Finance has proposed to freeze also the May decree of Putin on the need to annually increase military pensions by 2% above inflation. The decree was not changed, but in practice it is not executed since 2015.
Military retirees are not the only category excluded from entitlement to the lump sum in 5 thousand rubles. Earlier RBC wrote that the Russian pensioners, who live abroad, also do not fall under this decree. The Pension Fund pays benefits to nearly 300 thousand of such pensioners. Such decision was made by the authorities consciously — they decided to support pensioners, who live in Russia as of December 31, 2016, as they suffered from growth of internal prices, the deputy minister of labor Andrey Pudov confirmed on committee meeting on labor of the Duma.