Russian Language Blog

5 Russian Phrases to Talk About Raising the Retirement Age Posted by on Jul 16, 2018 in News

One of the current stories coming from Russia—even though it was temporarily overshadowed by the World Cup—is the proposal to raise the retirement age. Here are five useful expressions for discussing this reform, along with some coverage it’s received in the Russian media.

middle age woman

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Пенсио́нный во́зраст

Пе́нсия refers to the pension received by a retired person. Пенсио́нный во́зраст is the retirement age. Since the 1930s, the retirement age in the USSR, and then in Russia, has been 55 for women and 60 for men.

Поро́г пенсио́нного во́зраста для мужчи́н (60 лет) был устано́влен в нача́ле 1930-х годо́в.
The retirement age threshold for men (60) was established in the early 1930s.


The new proposal seeks to gradually raise the retirement age (повы́сить пенсио́нный во́зраст) to 65 years for men and 63 years for women. Another word for “to raise” is подня́ть. The noun phrase to talk about raising the retirement age is повыше́ние пенсио́нного во́зраста.

Повыше́ние пенсио́нного во́зраста вы́звало бу́рное обсужде́ние.
Raising the retirement age has caused an animated discussion.


One of the reasons given to justify raising the retirement age is that the number of working-age adults has gone down in relation to the number of retired people (пенсионе́ры). As a result, there are fewer working people to support each retiree by paying into the retirement fund.

Рабо́тающих люде́й стано́вится ме́ньше, а пенсионе́ров бо́льше.
There are increasingly fewer workers and more retirees.

memorial photo

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Продолжи́тельность жи́зни

While the government says that raising the retirement age will bring Russia in line with other countries, critics point out that life expectancy (продолжи́тельность жи́зни) is lower than in most of these countries.

Продолжительность жизни в России, хоть и растет, пока остается низкой, особенно у мужчин, которые на пенсии проводят в среднем 16 лет (женщины – 26).
Life expectancy in Russia, while rising, remains low, especially for men, who spend an average of 16 years in retirement (women spend 26 years).


Пожило́й is a noun that declines like an adjective and means “an elderly person.” This word is related to жить, to live. It has been pointed out that it is hard for the elderly to find jobs in Russia.

Одна́ко, да́же когда́ пожилы́е лю́ди нахо́дят рабо́ту, им пла́тят ме́ньше, чем молоды́м.
However, even when elderly people do find work, they are paid less than young people.

If you’d like to learn more about the retirement system in Russia and the proposed reform, check out this article in the Moscow Times. 

Has the Russian pension reform been covered in your country? What was the coverage like?

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.


  1. Barry Rose:

    You didn’t mean to write ‘… do find word’ !! .. you meant .. ‘do find work’