Russia may let top officials serve till 70

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted to parliament a bill allowing top officials to stay in office until they are 70 years old.

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“In order to keep highly experienced top staff in the civil service, the draft envisages extending the (maximum) civil service age to 70, for federal civil servants occupying top-level posts,” the Kremlin press service said Tuesday.

The retirement age for officials earlier was 60 years, with a possibility of extension to 65 years.

Doctors said they approved of the idea, saying that age can not serve as a reliable criterion to determine whether a person is fit for performing his or her professional activities.

“I think that age discrimination is redundant. A person can have a clear mind, work efficiently and produce good results even at the age of 75 or 80. The decision should be made according to medical, biological and social parameters,” said Vladimir Shabalin, director of the Russian Gerontology Scientific Clinical Center.

Leonid Lazebnik, head of the therapy and geriatrics department at the Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, said the move was in line with the recent global tendency of elderly people getting more and more engaged in intense intellectual and physical activities.

However, he said, such people lack creativity in performing their tasks.

“Such people will be able to work. They will retain their intellectual potential, but the ability to bring new ideas into life decreases as a person gets older,” he said.

“Any age discrimination is wrong in principle.”

Russia’s social and labor officials said the move might help Russia to deal with the effects of its rapidly ageing population. More than 13 percent of Russians are currently older than 65.

“We will have to learn how to live with this, we must understand that there will be more and more (active) people, who were once considered elderly,” said Andrei Isayev, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labour and Social Policy.