According to the monitoring service Opendatabot, the average pension in Ukraine increased by just Hr. 39 ($1.07) during the third quarter of 2023.
The increase brings the average pension in Ukraine to Hr. 5,350 ($148), with 3.57 million pensioners, just over a third of the total number, receiving payments at this level or higher.
Of these, 1.13 million people receive a pension of more than Hr. 10,000 ($276).
3.08 million Ukrainians, or 29 percent of all pensioners, have payments ranging from Hr. 2,000 – 3,000 ($ 55 - 83).
In 2023 the number of pensioners in Ukraine has decreased with 12,368 fewer claiming a pension during the third quarter leaving a total of 10,539,968 people receiving pension payments from the state.
A special category of pensions was established in 2023 for those who fought for the country's independence. The value of pension for this category of individual who is unable to work has been set at twice the minimum subsistence level or Hr. 4,186 ($116).
The size of the pension is affected by the length of service, salary and profession.
“There are quite a large number of certain categories that receive pensions depending on the type of work they did and for how long. There will be different rates, for example, miners or others who had physically demanding jobs,” Borys Kushniruk, an economist and former head of the management board of Unex bank, told Kyiv Post.
Those who receive special pensions include prosecutors, judges, deputies, ministers, civil servants, teachers, and so on. Other factors are taken into account when determining the size of their pensions.
“As for the old-age pension, it is calculated based on the current average salary, taking into account inflation. However, people who do not have sufficient work experience upon reaching the pensionable age of 60-65 will receive an incomplete pension. In this case, the accrual occurs according to a different scheme. Because of this, there may be a difference in the amount of income for pensioners," Kushniruk said.
The need to increase the pension is currently being discussed in the Verkhovna Rada, according to Roksolana Pidlasa, chairman of the Budget Committee, in an interview with Kyiv Post.
“The reform of the solidarity pension system is a good example, which is little talked about, unlike the funded one. The essence of the solidarity system should be to raise pensions for the poorest pensioners and reduce astronomical pensions for former officials,” she said, commenting on the future state budget.
According to Opendatabot statistics, 0.6% of Ukrainian pensioners receive less than Hr. 2,000 ($55).
Officially, the supposed cost of living for able-bodied persons in 2023 is assessed as Hr. 2,684 ($74).
According to the former chairman of the management board of UNEX Bank, the officially declared indicator has nothing to do with reality, in fact, now “we do not know the real cost of living.”
“The authorities should not ‘fool themselves’ but should think about how the cost of living must have a connection with reality. The problem of the authorities is also to decide how and at what expense to pay pensions, salaries to state employees, assistance, etc.,” Kushniruk said.
“And for those who are in the opposition, this [issue of pension provision and the ratio of minimum incomes to reality] is a great opportunity for ‘PR’ against the background of ordinary people who are deceived by the authorities and who receive payments below the subsistence minimum. But then, when the opposition comes to power, it does nothing to improve the situation. This suggests that for them this topic is based solely on populism,” Kushniruk said.
Kyiv Post spoke to some Ukrainian pensioners on the streets of Kyiv about their pensions and whether they have enough to live on. This was how they responded:
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