News / 18.06.19

"Survive to retirement": why don't they include care for the disabled into insured period?

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection finds it inexpedient to include the time of one's caretaking over Category I disabled persons into the insured period. This is stated in the response of V. Kovalkov, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection, sent to the REP Trade Union.

Earlier, the union sent an appeal to the Presidential Administration about the need to include the above caretaking time into the insured period. The Administration had forwarded the appeal to the Ministry of Labour.

What is the difference of officer's oath from soldier's one?

"Your proposal to include the time of caretaking over Category I people with disabilities into the insured period means, in fact, a reduction of the insured period for such caretakers needed for them to receive pensions. Its enforcement will trigger a number of similar proposals from other persons, who had been engaged in other activities, important for the society, now accounted in the general work service (child care, military service, etc.)," says Mr Kovalkov's answer.

"It was difficult to expect a different answer from the Ministry," says Gennady Fedynich, the leader of the REP Trade Union. However, we cannot agree with this position for a number of reasons. What would happen if citizens of Belarus, at their first employment had known that years of caring for elderly people and people with disabilities, maternity leaves and military service were not included into the insured period, because during these periods no funds were donated by them (or for them) in the Fund of Social Protection of Population (the so-called FSZN)? The state should certainly guarantee young people their permanent social status (and military service is certainly not the 'general' but insured service period). How to do this – let the Ministry of Defence worry. Russia and Ukraine have already thought about it and solved the problem."

Who will take adequate care for the disabled?

"It should be noted that persons caring for people with disabilities and receiving the social care allowances are not employees; and allowances are not their wages, but a measure of state social support for the persons, who, because of the need to take permanent care over the disabled, cannot enter the labour market and have other incomes," says the Ministry's answer.

"Don't be cunning: for people who care for the sick and disabled, this 'measure of state social support' is just a salary; they do hard work and get paid for it and have the right to rely on the support from the state, which had been guaranteed to them earlier. Who will take adequate care for people with disabilities in the future, with no guarantees of one's social status?" asks the REP leader.

How to solve the country's demographic problem?

"Now, young families are seriously forced to think on whether to give birth to the second and third children? After all, giving birth to a baby is an important, but not the main thing; it must be grown up healthy, educated and with a good start in life. If a mother that delivers and rears three children will lose nine years of insured period, then, we may ask, what is more important for the country today than a worthy upbringing of the young generation? Where are the motivation and guarantees? Such an attitude to people cannot solve the demographic problem," Gennady Fedynich is convinced.

"To survive till retirement"

"We draw your attention to the fact that if citizens, by the time they reach retirement have not accrued the required insured period, they can apply for a labour pension later, after they accumulate this period," says the response of Deputy Ministry Kovalkov. "Citizens, who have no the minimum insured period, will be awarded a social pension (women upon reaching 60 years of age, men – 65 years). That is, the constitutional guarantee of social protection in old age is provided. The fulfilment of the requirement to accumulate the due insured period is feasible, since the length of working service, during which the pension rights are formed (from adulthood to retirement age) is 37-40 years for women and 42-45 years for men. This period is also consistent with the duration of the subsequent period of receiving a pension till the death (on average, about 20 years for men and about 26 years for women."

"If they survive until then," Gennady Fedynich retorts, "From this answer, one thing is clear: when the economy was working properly, when the overwhelming majority of the population was employed in the real sector, the government had no problems and the concept of 'insured period' did not exist. Now, answer my question: who is to blame for the current situation – women, who give birth to children, people who care for the sick or disabled, our sons who go to military service, or those who rule the state today? If the republic's leadership and the govt lack knowledge, skills, qualification or professionalism, there's no need to deceive people, better resign. Not a single economy in the world has ever flourished by emptying the wallets of its citizens. This is a one way trip. I would very much like the authorities, and first of all, citizens, think about it."

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