The Russian President has signed legislation that raises* the retirement age in Russia and introduces* criminal liability for unreasonably refusing to hire a person of pre-retirement age or unreasonably dismissing such a person. Both laws were published on 3 October 2018. The new provisions on criminal liability will apply as of 14 October 2018, and the pension reform will begin on 1 January 2019.   

The new retirement age will be gradually raised over the next five years from 55 to 60 years for women and from 60 to 65 years for men.

For the unjustified refusal to hire a person of pre-retirement age or the unjustified dismissal of such a person, the responsible individual (e.g. the head of an organisation) may be held criminally liable. If convicted, the individual could be fined up to RUB 200,000 (EUR 2,667) or a sum equal to his salary or other income for a period of up to 18 months. He may also be required to perform compulsory work for up to 360 hours.

Pre-retirement age begins five years before a person becomes eligible for an old-age pension. In other words, after the transition period for raising the retirement age, pre-retirement will start at 55 years for women and 60 years for men.

Employers beware

Criminal liability for the unreasonable refusal to hire a person of pre-retirement age will apply in addition to the current administrative liability. Therefore, employers should bear in mind that age discrimination in the hiring process is even more unacceptable than in the past.

Also, under the Russian Labour Code, employers should remember that if a candidate requests it, they are obliged to inform him in writing of the reason he was not selected during the hiring process. Such a reason will be deemed unfounded if it is not related to a candidate’s professional competence.

In addition, when terminating an employment contract with a person of pre-retirement age, employers should carefully follow all procedures specified in Russia’s employment laws in order to protect themselves against dismissed employees making claims and complaints with the supervisory authorities.

* In Russian