Russia Discusses Raising Retirement Age

The Russian government has for the first time said officially it will hold discussions on raising the retirement age, a step whose supporters say is vital because the country's workforce is shrinking. A document setting out the government's main priorities until 2018 envisages detailed talks with experts and civil society groups about if and when the retirement age should be increased. Senior officials including Finance Minister Anton Siluanov have recently expressed support for the idea. President Vladimir Putin last month said Russia was not ready to sharply hike the retirement age but did not rule out gradually raising it.