Pensioners : The last month of winter is rich in legislative and administrative innovations concerning elderly Russians who are on a well-deserved rest. Among them there are both pleasant ones, such as the indexation of pensions and social benefits, and not so good ones – related to the new tax and debts of citizens. In the financial and legal intricacies of the upcoming novels, “MK” was helped by experts.
Indexation of pensions by 8.6%
As you know, recently the deputies of the State Duma in three readings adopted a bill on the indexation of pensions by 8.6%. The Pension Fund of Russia is preparing an additional payment for the indexation of pensions in February 2022. In January, all pensioners received payments that were indexed by only 5.9%. Therefore, in February, they can count on an additional payment of the difference from the previous indexation rate to the new one. Moreover, you do not need to apply for an allowance.
All funds will be credited to the PFR automatically with the February pension. True, the indexation of insurance pensions is carried out exclusively for non-working pensioners. According to the Federation Council, the average old-age insurance pension after increased indexation will be about 19,000 rubles.
Anna BODROVA, Senior Analyst of IAC Alpari, comments:
“An event of such magnitude as the indexation of pensions throughout the country is a planned event that is being prepared from a social and financial point of view for quite a long time and carefully. The state has adopted a format in which pensions in the new year are indexed to the inflation rate of the previous year, that is, in 2022 they will rise by 8.6%, which even slightly exceeds the official inflation in 2021.
Everything is clear and logical here. But naturally, such indexation will not make anyone rich, since retail prices in Russia continue to rise and additional interest will not cover all the financial losses of the past year. The purpose of social indexation of pensions is to bring the standard of living of pensioners closer to the acceptable value established by the authorities. That is exactly what is happening now.”
Increasing benefits for veterans and the disabled
From February 2022, Russia will index the monthly cash payment (UDV), which is received by the disabled, combat veterans, Chernobyl victims and other beneficiaries. The size of the UDV is planned to increase by 8.4% – in strict accordance with last year’s inflation. In addition to pensions, about 15 million people in the country who are eligible for federal benefits now receive a monthly cash payment.
Georgy OSTAPKOVICH, Director of the HSE Center for Market Research, comments:
“Initially, all payments in 2022 were planned to be increased by 4-5%, because this is exactly the kind of inflation that was expected at the end of 2021. However, for a number of reasons, the price growth rate turned out to be higher and amounted to about 8.4%. It is clear that people need help, and the authorities made a completely logical decision. Additional indexation of the monthly cash payment will make it possible to compensate for inflation for low-income citizens – veterans, the disabled …
Thanks to additional indexation, the solvency of the population and, accordingly, consumer demand is growing. People are beginning to actively buy goods and services, which means that the economy should produce more. So all this material support leads to GDP growth.”
New tax on bank deposits
Russian pensioners, like all other Russians, will begin to pay a new tax – from interest on bank deposits in the amount of 13%. You will have to pay tax only on deposits of more than 1 million rubles or on income exceeding 42.5 thousand rubles, which was received in the form of interest from a bank deposit. Now such deposits are held by many pensioners, who often accumulated such an amount all their lives, and there are no plans to make an exception for them.
Only certain amounts of the deposit will be taxed. They will be calculated by multiplying one million rubles by the key rate of the Central Bank as of January 1 last year (4.25%). The new tax for pensioners will come into force on February 1, 2022, and payments on it must be made before December 1. Pensioners themselves will not have to take any action on the new tax:
Mikhail USPENSKY, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Tax Consultants, comments:
“The tax on bank deposits over a million rubles is often called the “tax on the rich”. But how fair this is is an open question, because among older citizens there are many who are prone to savings behavior and have been saving money for many years, or even decades, for a decent old age, for a “rainy day” or as personal insurance against a crisis. For pensioners, interest on deposits is almost the only available and understandable tool for them to invest and save money from inflation.
And it turns out that with this money, if more than 1 million rubles are on bank deposits, pensioners will be required to pay tax. The law does not provide for any exceptions to these rules.
Guaranteed minimum for debtors
On February 1, a law will come into force that guarantees debtors an inviolable balance from a salary or pension. From February 1, when writing off debts, bailiffs will leave a living wage on their accounts – in 2022, this is an average of 13,793 rubles in the country. In regions where the local subsistence minimum for a pensioner is higher (and it is different in all subjects of the federation), they will save more on their accounts.
In this case, the service will not be automatic – the debtor will have to apply to the bailiff unit with the appropriate application. By law, up to 50 percent of salary or pension can be withheld for debts. In practice, this led to the fact that pensioners and the disabled, whose pension is close to the subsistence level, risked being left without even the most necessary means of subsistence. Now they have an irreducible threshold of funds for life.
Pavel MEDVEDEV, financial ombudsman of the Association of Russian Banks, comments:
“A pensioner, and indeed any person who has money written off for debts, needs to write two statements: to the bank and to the bailiff. The fact that he should have a living wage on such and such an account – the one that is established in the region for this category.
By law, any income must be protected in the amount of a living wage. In other words, this amount should remain on the card per month. It is different for different categories of the population: pensioners have one, workers have another. The cost of living also differs by region. On average, the living wage in Russia this year is set above 13,000 rubles. But not all old people have such a pension. How to collect debts from them? No way: you can not deprive a person of a livelihood if he is not financially strong or has made mistakes. Important point:
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