Chelyabinsk Region to protect retirees despite crisis, Governor says

18 February 2009 (09:50)

The current economic instability shouldn’t be allowed to affect the social benefits packages guaranteed to the retirees by the state. All of them need to keep getting their pensions in full and on time, Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin said in the course of a meeting with the head of the state retirement fund’s division Viktor Chernobrovin.

Chernobrovin said the pensioners had no reason to worry, as all the payments and social benefits would arrive in time. The official explained there were over 900,000 retirees in the region at the moment, including the 300,000 people who kept on working at the local enterprises. The average pension amounted to 4,485 RUR on January 1, 2009, and this year’s indexation will exceed even the originally planned figures. For one, the payments will be raised in March, April, and December, so that the average pension will have amounted to 5,650 RUR by the end of 2009.

Petr Sumin and Viktor Chernobrovin also looked into how the proposal put forward by Head of Government Vladimir Putin was being implemented on the regional scale. Putin suggested that the so-called maternity capital (the money a mother is paid for her second child and/or consecutive children) could be used to cover mortgage payments. So, starting January 1, 2009, this money can be invested in the children’s education, the mother’s pension savings, or improving on the family’s living conditions. A mother is allowed to choose all the three options simultaneously if she likes as well as invest the entire sum or a portion of it in any of three ways available. So far, 559 Chelyabinsk Region-based families chose to use their maternity capital to pay off their mortgages, whereas there are actually 1,085 families in the region with the right to this compensation. All of them have already been given certificates to this extent, the spokesperson for the Governor reports.

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