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Russian Lawmakers Agree With Putin's Proposal to Soften Retirement Age Hike

Anton Novoderzhkin / TASS

Russian lawmakers have adopted President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to soften a planned retirement age hike in the wake of popular opposition to the reform.

Last month, Putin announced plans to amend government-backed legislation that would see the retirement age increase for men from 60 to 65 and for women, from 55 to 63. He proposed reducing the pension age increase for women to 60 and allowing early retirement for mothers of three or more children, among other measures.

The State Duma voted 385-0 on Wednesday to push the president's proposed amendments through.

“We found a consensus on this issue and everyone has upheld the president’s amendments,” Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told lawmakers, who broke out in applause.

The vote took place against the backdrop of Communist Party supporters protesting the bill outside the Duma building. Volodin rebuked his Communist Party colleagues who attended the vote wearing T-shirts with the numbers 63 and 65 crossed out.

“I think you can buy a jacket and a tie on a deputy’s salary. Our wages are much higher than those who elected us,” he was quoted as saying.

The Duma said it had received almost 300 proposed amendments to the controversial bill in the two months since it was put on hold in the face of widespread protests.

The amended pension reform bill’s third and final reading is expected on Thursday.

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