Putin offers pension concessions

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has offered concessions to the government’s highly controversial pension changes.

The government’s plan to raise the retirement age for both men and women has caused widespread discontent and weighed heavily on Putin’s approval ratings, which have dropped to their lowest level since the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Russia’s parliament has passed the first reading of the reform but has yet to give it final approval.

Putin said in a televised address today said without raising the retirement age Russia’s pension system “would crack and eventually collapse.”

He offered concessions, saying that women’s retirement age should increase from 55 to 60 years, lower than the previously proposed figure of 63. But he did not offer to change the proposed figure for men, which is rising from 60 to 65.