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Russia – New category of employees created from 2019: pre-retirement age individuals

Written by
ALRUD, a confident Russian leader in labour and employment law.
The Russian Federation has introduced new employment law protections for employees in the five years before they are eligible for retirement with an old-age pension. This article explains these new rights for employees and duties for employers, which will take effect in January 2019.

Starting on 1 January 2019, amended pension legislation comes into force in Russia. As per the new rules ‘pre-retirement-age’ employees are defined (in Art. 11 of Federal Law No. 350-FZ of 3 October 2018) as individuals who will reach the pension age making them eligible for the old-age pension (including an early retirement pension) in five years. From 2019 pension age will be 60 for women and 65 for men. Specific dates of commencement and expiry of the pre-retirement age should be determined by the employer, taking into account the date, month and year of the employee’s birth. For example, if a female employee were born on 14 April 1966, then her pre-retirement age would begin on 14 April 2019 and finish on 13 April 2024.

The key legislative changes are set out below.

As of 14 October 2018, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was supplemented by Art. 144.1, which establishes criminal liability for an unjustified refusal to hire or unjustified dismissal of a person of pre-retirement age. This liability may apply to CEOs of companies or any other officer who is authorised to hire and dismiss employees. Named individuals may be subject to a fine of up to RUB 200,000 or the total amount of the convicted person’s wages or other income fora period of up to 18 months (Federal Law No. 352-FZ of October 3, 2018 on the amendment to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). However, the law does not provide for any criteria for ‘unjustified dismissal’.

Starting in 2019, companies will have to grant employees of pre-retirement age two working days once a year for a health checkup. During this period of absence, employees will retain their salary and place of work.

Currently, employers who have employees of pre-retirement age also have to submit a quarterly report to the regional employment center at the request of the Federal Service for Labour and Employment (Rostrud). Rostrud only collects information about men born in 1959 and women born in 1964, both working and dismissed in the reporting period.