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Regular version of the site

Article

Russian Pension Reform under Quadruple Influence

Problems of Post-Communism. 2019. No. 66. P. 96-108.
Prisyazhniuk D., Cook L. J., Aasland A.

Russia ’ s government initiated pension reform in 2013 to resolve a crisis: the prolonged
recession had created a huge Pension Fund de fi cit that required unsustainable subsidies
from the state budget. The article analyzes four sets of in fl uences on that reform: those
from above (high-level policy makers), inside (government ministries, legislators), below
(civil society, public opinion), and outside (international actors, policy learning). We fi nd
that the strongest in fl uences come from above and inside, and analyze the con fl icting policy
preferences of key actors on reversal of pension privatization, indexation of payments, and age
of eligibility. The policy process is protracted and fails to resolve major issues. Irresolution
results from the leadership ’ s effort to avoid blame for pension bene fi t cuts despite the
weakness of civil society ’ s in fl uence. The current reform effort has been tentative, halting,
and indecisive, indicating a government with a diminished capacity to resolve this major
social policy problem.