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Putin Signs Controversial Pension Age Law

President Vladimir Putin signed into law a controversial bill on Wednesday to raise the retirement age despite nationwide protests and declining polling numbers. 

The government plans to gradually raise the pension age for men from 60 to 65 and for women from 55 to 63 between 2019 and 2028. In response to widespread criticism of the plans, Putin proposed several measures to soften the pension reform, including lowering the pension age hike for women to 60. 

The Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament voted 149-5 on Wednesday to approve the retirement age hike bill, with three abstentions. 

The senators also unanimously passed a bill criminalizing age discrimination in firing and hiring workers who are five years away from retirement. Putin told Cabinet officials Tuesday that no additional budget revenue was expected from the retirement age hike because of his reform proposals.

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