MOSCOW, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he was not happy with the government's proposing to raise the retirement age, but recognized the necessity to reform the pension system.
"When I was asked, which of the various options I like, I said then and I can say now that I do not like any option associated with raising the retirement age," TASS news agency quoted Putin as saying in the city of Kaliningrad.
However, he said, if nothing is done, the pensioners will suffer as the government will run short of money to pay them in the near future.
When proposing to raise the retirement age, the government should rely on economic assessments, Putin said.
He added that there was no final decision on the pension reform, and its proposed parameters could yet be changed.
On Thursday, the Russian lower parliament house, the State Duma, passed in the first reading the bill that would raise the retirement age with 328 deputies voting for and 104 against.
The government proposed to raise the retirement age for men to 65 years from the current 60 years by 2028 and for women to 63 years from 55 years by 2034.
The Duma plans to pass the bill in autumn in the second reading, during which amendments to the bill can be introduced. For this, it will collect proposals on improving the highly unpopular bill.
To become effective, a bill has to be passed in three readings by the Duma, among which the second is the most important, then to be endorsed by the upper parliament house, the Federation Council, and then signed into law by Putin.
Putin on Friday arrived in the Russian western exclave of Kaliningrad for a meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport.