Kiev, Ukraine. For those who follow Ukrainian politics, nothing surprises the western mind, but recently the Poroshenko administration apparently has had enough of the criticism and pushed back publicly in a way that leaves Ukraine looking just a little out of touch.
In a recent article for the Economic Truth online newspaper, Ron van Roden, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Ukraine, wrote that Ukraine’s pension system is in need of urgent reform, since it does not meet current challenges.
Van Roden explains that if no changes are made to the state pension system soon, the pension fund will become even more unstable, and may not be able to provide a subsistence level pension $57.6 USD for the older population.
According to the IMF expert, the structure of the pension system has not changed since the days of the Soviet Union. “A low pension age in conjunction with the early retirement options which are available to many citizens, is one of the characteristic traits of this system. On average, Ukrainians retire earlier than people working in other countries of the region,” Roden said.
Van Roden explained that the average retirement age in Ukraine is around 58.5. For women, this indicator is slightly below 56 years. In EU countries these indicators are 63,6 for men and 62,6 for women. As a result, there are currently 12 million pensioners in Ukraine, and this is nearly 30% of the population.
The Kiev administration of Petro Poroshenko reacted with offense to Van Roden’s article. Vice Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko wrote on his Facebook page that “there is doubt about the professional abilities” of Ron van Roden. In a comment on Roden’s article, Rozenko pointed out that the head of the IMF mission does not understand the realities in Ukraine.
“After the ‘expert’s’ comments that ‘the basic structure of the pension system has not changed since the Soviet era”, I lost all interest in reading the rest of these ravings…” Rozenko wrote.
According to him, “the maxims on the topic of introducing a second level are in general ‘no comment’”.
“The person just does not understand what this is and how it works… terrible unprofessionalism!!!” Rozenko added.
One has to ask one’s self at what point does the west wake up to the reality that Kiev is being run by an organized crime ring of people who somehow believe they are more intelligent than all the experts the west has in financial matters. This is an amazing example of the unbridled arrogance of a group of people who have the gall to criticize the very experts trying to save them from complete ruin.