Pension deficit in Belarus to be resolved by raising retirement age
According to the IMF, following reforms and raising the retirement age to 58 year for women and to 63 for men, the pension fund balance would be preserved until 2022, and since early 2023, the Fund’s budget would be reducing by 0.15% of GDP annually. Belarus will raise the retirement age due to the deficit of the Social Protection Fund. In the course of the next six years, Belarus will be raising the retirement by 0.5 years annually. Due to the mass lay-offs in the economy, budget transfers to cover the deficit of the Social Security Fund are likely to increase, and pensions are likely to keep pace with growth in both, wages and inflation. The economic crisis and non-willingness of enterprises to hire workers of retirement age, will prevent an increase in employment of retirees. As the Belarusian population continues to age, the economic authorities are likely to reformat the existing programme of raising the retirement age and may increase the retirement age to 65 years for men and women in the coming three-four years.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.