EDITORIAL: Putin Scams the Elderly

Bookmark and Share


Putin Scams the Elderly

An recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald headlined “Russia a better place to grown old” complains that elderly Australians are being victimized by their government, being treated more roughly in terms of pensions than their counterparts in Russia. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth, and the article turns out to be one of the shoddiest excuses for journalism I’ve seen from mainstream media in quite some time.

The author, one Tom Reilly, claims the value of an average Russian pension is $75 per month. To start with, that’s simply false.  In 2008, an average pension was almost twice that, $140 per month.  And even though the article understated the value of Russian pension by half, its conclusion that Russians were somehow better off is still hopelessly bogus. 

In his lifetime, an average Australian will collect pension benefits worth more than six times than what the Russian government will pay to an average Russian, even taking so-called “purchasing power parity” currency adjustments into account. In straight nominal terms, Aussies are paid ten times more than Russians in their lifetimes where pensions are concerned.

Let’s look at the details.

An average Australian lives to the age of roughly 82 years and can retire and receive a pension at the age of 67, according to Reilly (hopefully he can at least get the Australian data right).  This means the average Australian will collect a pension for about 15 years.

An average Australian pension is worth about $1,100 per month (amazingly, Reilly doesn’t even deign to mention this fact, which would of course conflict rather stunningly with the amount of the Russian pension and thereby undermine his little narrative. That means that an average Australian will collect nearly $190,000 in his lifetime from his government for old-age compensation.

An average Russian lives to the age of 66 —  a shocking16 years less than an average Australian.  Australia ranks #11 in the world for adult lifespan, while Vladimir Putin’s Russia ranks a shocking #157, well below countries that don’t claim G-8 membership like Bolivia, Guatamala and Iraq.

Reilly claims Russian can retire at 55, another outrageous misstatement of fact. Only women can retire at 55 in Russia, men must wait until age 60 (beyond the male average lifespan of 59).  According to Martin McKee, an expert in Russian public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:  “A typical 18-year old in the West has a 90 percent probability of reaching retirement age, but for young men in Russia the odds are reduced to 50 percent.”

But let’s humor Reilly and work with 55 as if it applied to everyone.  It would mean the average Russian would collect a pension for only 11 years – nearly one third less time than an Australian. A Russian is paid about $140 per month as a pension, and that means an average Russian would collect about $18,500 in his lifetime from his government – just 5% of the amount an Australian will collect.

According to the World Bank, in 2007, Australia had a per capita nominal GDP figure of about $39,100 while Russia had a figure of $9,100.  In other words, the ratio between the two was 4.3:1.  Adjusting for so-called “purchasing power parity,” which argues that since Russian wages and prices are lower a Russian doesn’t need to earn as much as an Australian in order to have the same standard of living, Australia’s figure falls to $34,900 while Russia’s goes up to $14,700 or a ratio of 2.4:1.  This means that, arguably, one must multiply the value of Russian money by a factor of 1.625 in order to compare it to the value of Australian money.

So we’ll do that, and multiply Russia’s $18,480 lifetime pension award by 1.625. That means a Russian is receiving, at most, $30,030 in Australian money – a truly astounding 6.4 times less than an Australian! It takes more than six Russian pensioners to match the income of just one Australian.

Though this is apparently big news to Reilly, it’s of course common knowledge in Russia, which freely admits its pensioners are starving.  In 2007, the nation fixed the minimum income necessary for subsistence at 3,700 rubles per month but it paid only 3,000 rubles per month in average accrued pensions.  The average monthly wage for a worker was 12,700 rubles meaning that Russia paid a miniscule 25% income replacement in pensions.  Australia’s figure is well over 50%.  That figure alone shows the extent to which the Putin regime is scamming Russia’s old folks to pay for its new cold war with America.  And it’s truly apalling.

And let’s be clear:  12,700 rubles is $384. That means an average Russian worker is getting paid $2.40 per hour for four weeks of full-time work, while facing double-digit consumer price inflation.  So Russia’s definition of “subsistence” is rather stringent if it believes someone can subsist on one-forth of the average wage, now isn’t it?

Now consider this:  Nearly 40 million currently Russians, one-third of the total population, receive pensions (state-controlled wire service RIA Novosti admits Russia is a “nation of pensioners”). At $140 per month, that means pensions cost the Kremlin $67.2 billion per year.  If Russians lived as long as Australians, they’d be living 25% longer than they do now and that would mean 25% more pension expenditures. 

In other words, if Vladimir Putin implemented a policy that successfully caused Russians to live as long as Australians, it would cost Russia over $15 billion each and every year just to pay the pensions. Add on all the additional medical and related expenses, and you can easily see why Putin is in no particular hurry to close the gap. It’s much more efficient to let Russia’s archipelago of ghost villages multiply.

20 responses to “EDITORIAL: Putin Scams the Elderly

  1. No scam at all on his side. Looks more or less normal situation for a Third World country like Russia. There’re no pension plans for the elderly in Brazil and Mexico and evenin the countries which are rated best in High-Tech like Malaysia for the the exeption of people working for the government, army. police.


    Sure, if Russia would admit that we’d be delighted. But instead, Russia lays claim to G-8 membership.

  2. rts

    Do not worry Lunatic. After your suggestion to solve a problem by US aircrafts your new blab have not any sence!

  3. To RTS. You are right, but remember that Brazil and Mexico and Guatemala and such do know who they are and do know their place. They do not pay the old-age pensions, but then they also do not pretend to be developed countries and do not insist on being included in G8. They don’t say they are beacons of hope for the West-oppressed humankind, they don’t demand to be made hosts of Olympics and don’t say that Rio or Mexico City is third Rome

  4. LA RUSSOPHOBE: Russia lays claim to G-8 membership???

    Don’t make me laugh, really.
    Read the papers or watch TV – They call that meeting G-7, not G-8. Try wikipedia for both numbers an you’ll see the difference for yourself within 30 secs. Clear enough to anyone.

  5. It`s very very cjjl to be in G 7 or G 8 or G 158. We are one of the members of G8 and we was a host of summit G8 in 2003 in my native city-Saint-Petersburg. But you may exclude us if you wish. We won`t be suffer with it.

  6. If my memory serves me right they had sort of the Olympic games way back in 1968 in Mexico City. You may not believe me but Mexico has changed not too much since then. The same illiteracy, the same nation of litterbugs, crime and poverty wherever you go.

    Since that relatively distant time Mexico remaned Mexico, Russia remained Russia, the USA remained USA and hordes of immigrants from downgraded 3th World countries including Russia are still dreaming about the US visas and American way of life. Hitler himself went the Olympic way in 193?? for legitimacy reasons.
    To cut it short it doesn’t prove a single thing, I mean the Olympics and other high-profile games of dictators.

  7. RTS: I understand you are astonished Russia is a member of G8, who wouldn’t be shocked by that fact? But the fact is, it’s true. I think either George Bush father or Clinton put it there as a goodwill gesture, with the expectation she would behave as a good mannered young gentleman. Of course, the expectations have not come true, and so it’s time to through the bums out.

    As far as the Olympics, there were a number of occasions when impoverished third world regimes and/or dictatorships got them, unfortunately. It’s not just Mexico 68, which some of us old enough vividly remember. There was of course Germany 36 (twice that year), and Moscow 80, and of course Chine 2008. Very sad indeed

  8. RV

    It`s sad indeed that you waste your live for different blub.

  9. OK RV.
    You seem to asking why Russia still enjoys G7-8 membership? The answer may sound equally short and convincing – for practical reasons. The problem is Russia is still the only country in the world capable to make cockroaches the only residents of the United States in 25 minutes. Like it or not.
    The funny thing is that formidable capability is hardly of any use inside Russia. They invent all their troubles by themselves including Communist lunacy which lasted for a century and totally destroyed their mentality and social life fabrics of civil society. Hopefully you are contented with my answer.

  10. I just happened to hate dictators in every form, whether it is Stalin, or Hitler, or Mao, or in the form of the creature you currently have. Perhaps, it’s hard for a Russian to understand that because it appears that freedom is not a major thing Russians are after; but I don’t presume to know anything about mysterious Russian soul. I only speak for myself.

    By the way, what is a “blub?” I am not aware of the meaning of this word. Is this a word from the English language?

  11. blub=nonsence

  12. RV: By the way, what is a “blub?” I am not aware of the meaning of this word. Is this a word from the English language? ???

    That is shortening of blubber or sob out words.
    Not very proper English for educated people but within general use.

  13. rts

    You are not a person who could understand polite and correct message.

  14. RTS: My grammar school teacher, Mrs. Sawyer, God rest her soul, would have been appalled by such a slang. I guess, my not knowing it dates me

    I guess you are saying they got their G8 membership using blackmail — I completely understand this, that would directly correspond to their nature. But why do they need to be in the G8? Their predecessor regime could also destroy the world but never insisted on being a part of the G8. I guess they really keep making valiant but vain attempts to appear civilized and developed, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Who do you reckon are they trying to prove this point to: us or themselves?

    • Why do they need to be in the G8? Quite simple. Putin was promising Russians that they would be one of the world’s richest countries by 2020. Being part of the G8 gave Russians the illusions that Russia was really catching up economically and would soon be one of the top two or three economies of the world.

  15. I see there’s a storm ragin’ in your heart “I am Russian”, you seem to be hot like a hornet defending your country. It’s only natural and can be respected.
    I think we can talk a bit about issues one at a time and keep it still friendly. This is all about our quest to learn more about your country and the world as it’s seen from “Mother-Russia”. Believe it or not none of us want the world end up dead.

  16. rts

    “Believe it or not none of us want the world end up dead”.

    But you have suggested to use aircrafts against us! It`s clear that we will defend our own. We have the greaters nukes forces in the world we have power aircraft missils submarins etc. too. If you`ll try to attack us it will be the end of the world!

    • I’m Russian,

      Russia isn’t worth waisting ammunition on. Nobody wants to attack your cesspool of a country. The only people threatening to attack are you Goose-stepping Russian morons. It’s not the world’s fault Russia chose to remain a backwards tyrannical cesspit of barbarism. If only communism hadn’t snuffed out what remained of your civilization, Putin continued where the commies left off, wiping out all semblance of civilized behavior, and now we’re left with slugs like you. Russia is like an aging bear with his paws stuck in rusty traps trying to swipe at the buzzards as they circle over head. And threatening all who would try and help. Pitiful site to behold.

  17. RaSSiya will just melt into its own slime. There is a problem when Japan has to recycle moscal nuclear submarines and build nuclear waste storage for Rasha. Better for the world that moscali eat their own waste themselves and dissolve. The only thing worthwhile for Rasha is to send them misfits from all the worlds jails for half price, since prisons are a comparable advantage for Rasha and the world don’t care about crap people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s