PFR Board holds expanded meeting in Moscow

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11 december 2018

The Russian Pension Fund Board held an expanded meeting in Moscow today. The meeting involved Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, Russian Labor and Social Protection Minister Maxim Topilin, PFR Board Chairman Anton Drozdov, representatives of the Russian Federal Assembly and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, managers of PFR offices from all constituent territories of Russia, and heads of structural units of the PFR Executive Directorate.

Key items on the agenda of the PFR Board meeting were preliminary results of the PFR performance in 2018 and primary objectives of the Fund in 2019. PFR Board Chairman Anton Drozdov delivered the keynote report.

Indexation and payment of pensions

Insurance pensions of 30.6 million non-working pensioners grew by 3.7% on January 1, 2018, which was higher than the inflation rates of 2017 (2.5%). Payments to pensioners who had stopped working also increased during the year with due account of every indexation. The automatic adjustment of insurance pensions of 11.4 million pensioners was done in August for the previous periods of their work.

In addition, the Pension Fund granted requests for the adjustment of insurance pensions by significant periods of life, mostly care for children younger than 1.5 years. The adjustment increased pensions by an average amount of 417 rubles.

In the end, an average old-age insurance pension of non-working pensioners grew by 604 rubles (or 4.4%) in 2018 to 14,400 rubles or 169.3% of the pensioner’s subsistence minimum.

State pensions, including social pensions, of working and non-working pensioners grew by 2.9% on April 1. Pensions grew for 3.9 million pensioners. Other payments, which depend on the growth of social pensions, were also increased. In the end, an average social pension increased by 249 rubles (or 2.8%) to 9,000 rubles (105.9% of the pensioner’s subsistence minimum).

All non-working pensioners were receiving a social supplement to their pensions during the year, which increased their income to the regional pensioner’s subsistence minimum.

The Pension Fund increased budget spending on insurance and state pensions by 395 billion rubles to 7.2 trillion rubles in 2018.

Insurance pensions of non-working pensioners will grow 7.05% on January 1, 2019, (by an average of 1,000 rubles), which is higher than the forecasted inflation rates of 2018. The fixed-rate payment will thus amount to 5334.2 rubles per month, while the pension point value will reach 87.24 rubles. An average old-age insurance pension will grow to 15,400 rubles.

State pensions, including social pensions, will grow by 2.4% for all pensioners on April 1, 2019, while an average social pension will increase to 9,200 rubles.

Raising quality of public services

The Pension Fund annually seeks to improve the quality of public service, to provide public services more quickly, and to broaden the range of their forms. The development of the PFR information system and remote access via personal accounts help achieve this goal.

Over the first 11 months of 2018, the Pension Fund provided 71 million public services, 70% or 50 million of which were provided in electronic form. The share of electronic applications for the assignment of pensions reached 72.1% (compared to 58.7% in 2017), while the share of electronic applications for the delivery of pensions increased to 72.2% (vs. 66% in 2017).

Electronic services of the PFR are available not only on the Pension Fund website and the Public Services Portal but also in the PFR application for smart phones based on the most popular platforms iOS and Android. As of now, the PFR mobile application has been downloaded and installed over 600,000 times.

Last year, the Pension Fund boosted electronic interaction with multifunctional centers, 72% of which are now exchanging information with PFR territorial offices in the electronic form.

Judging by the Vash Kontrol (Your Control) system, the Pension Fund stably scores high by the quality of public services. There is preliminary information that the general level of public satisfaction with the quality of PFR services stood at 96.9% in 2018.

Federal Register of Disabled Persons and Unified State Social Security Information System

In 2018, the Pension Fund continued to implement two federal projects, the Federal Register of Disabled Persons (FRDP) and the Unified State Social Security Information System (USSSIS).

A pilot project of the assignment of pensions to persons with disabilities on the basis of information from the Federal Register of Disabled Persons was implemented during the year. As a result, 82% of pensions were assigned on the basis of the PFR’s information about disabled persons. Another project was implemented together with Russian Railways to provide discount tickets to disabled persons on the basis of FRDP information. Next year the FRDP information will be used for granting tax benefits of the Federal Tax Service to persons with disabilities.

In 2019, the personal account of a disabled person grew with a new service for applying for the assistance of employment services in a disabled person’s search for a job. There will also be an electronic option for applying for the “disabled person” badge. The FRDP will include a new municipal information service, which will enable employment services to be more effective in the employment of disabled persons.

The Unified State Social Security Information System was launched in early 2018. It currently contains information about 52.2 million persons and 100.6 million assigned social benefits. The aggregate monetary obligations of budgets of all levels, which are recorded by the USSSIS, amount to 783 billion rubles.

The USSSIS also has a social service calculator indicating all measures of social support depending on the place of residence and the category of recipient. The service can be accessed in the general-access part of the FRDP portal and the personal account, where a list of assigned social benefits is available.

In 2019, there will be pro-active informing of persons about their entitlement to social benefits, and the social service calculator will be developed to include various life situations. That will be achieved, in particular, through the integration of the USSSIS with the Unified State Register of the Civil Registry Office. For example, the system will record births and timely inform parents about their entitlements.

Starting next year, the USSSIS will also include information about the family composition and income, movable assets, and real estate, which will help determine families’ need for social protection. The information will be coming from information systems of Rosreestr and the Interior Ministry to be integrated with the USSIS next year.

The FRDP and the USSSIS give an account of all social benefits for all categories of citizens receiving social support from budgets of all levels. The information systems raise the efficiency of social expenses and the awareness of citizens of their social entitlements.

Maternity capital

In furtherance of the maternity capital program, the Pension Fund issued 563,700 maternity capital certificates and granted 753,200 requests of families for spending 242.8 billion rubles of maternity capital funds in the first ten months of 2018. As always, most maternity capital funds were spent on home improvement. The share reached 77.4% in the total number of requests for spending maternity capital funds.

Although housing remains the main way of spending maternity capital funds, an increasing number of families show interest in spending the money on education of their children. Another reason for the increased demand for funding education services is the endorsement of program adjustments in early 2018 that lifted the three-year ban on spending the funds on preschool education of children and allowed the families to spend their money as soon as they receive the certificate. In the end, over 15,000 families used the new opportunity and spent maternity capital on kindergarten and nursery services.

Another new way of spending maternity capital funds in 2018 was monthly payments to poor families. The right was given to families where a second child was born during the year and where an income per capita did not exceed 1.5 amounts of the subsistence minimum for the able-bodied population. As of November 1, 2018, 31,400 families filed for receiving monthly payments with PFR territorial offices.

A total of 8.9 million maternity capitals have been issued to Russian families since the launch of this program. A total of 5.5 million families or 61.6% of certificate holders have fully spent their funds.

Cofunding social programs in Russian constituent territories

In 2018, the Pension Fund continued to provide subsidies to Russian constituent territories for regional social programs. A total of 1.95 billion rubles were assigned during the year. The money was spent on building or renovating 19 social facilities in 17 constituent territories, repairs were made in 128 social facilities in 62 constituent territories, and 67 vehicles were purchased for mobile teams. As a result, living conditions and service were improved for more than 24,000 elderly and disabled persons. Almost 29,000 senior citizens were trained to use a computer.

Since 2000, the Russian Pension Fund has invested 32 billion rubles in cofounding social programs of Russian constituent territories that support and improve living conditions of senior citizens.

Key tasks of PFR till end of 2018 and beginning of 2019

  • To finalize the adjustment of pensions of rural pensioners with due account of the 25% bonus to the fixed-rate payment and to pay higher pensions starting in 2019.
  • To implement new pension laws, which take effect next year, and to conduct a relevant information campaign.
  • To launch the retiree information system.To identity persons entitled to early retirement on new grounds: mothers of three or four children, persons with a long labor record (37 years for women and 42 years for men). 
  • To continue development of the Federal Register of Disabled Persons and the Unified State Social Security Information System.