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Meeting with Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov

April 10, 2024, The Kremlin, Moscow

The Minister briefed the President on efforts to develop the Social Treasury system, including the proactive computation of payments and provision of services to Russian citizens. Separately, Anton Kotyakov reported to the President about the Ministry’s work in the new regions.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kotyakov, I suggest that we begin this meeting by discussing the measures your Ministry is taking to bridge the gap across various regions in terms of social support.

Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov: Mr President,

I would like to begin by thanking you for declaring the Year of the Family in 2024.

Our country has achieved a lot over the past few years in terms of supporting families with children and promoting traditional family values. That said, I do believe that there are still decisions we will have to take in this regard. I do hope, and, in fact, I am certain, that we will have a lot to offer as part of this effort by working together with the Russian regions, with our social partners, as well as the civil society for coming up with effective solutions to improve our national birth rate.

Today, we are fulfilling your instructions to make the format of social support measures as easy and convenient for our people across the country as possible.

We started by focusing on the federal level, calling this initiative the Social Treasury. It has a mission to introduce simple and easy-to-understand mechanisms to enable our people to receive various kinds of support. I must tell you right away that people can receive these services by filing an application on the Unified Public Services Portal, or we provide these services proactively considering the circumstances people face in their lives.

As of today, we have already reformatted 41 federal support measures to suit this framework at the federal level and will offer 29 more measures in this format by the end of 2024. That means that by the end of 2024 we will have completed the transition to the Social Treasury principle for all federal support measures.

(The Minister went on to describe examples of the social treasury principle. Such measures include a single child support benefit for children aged up to 17 and pregnant women. The benefit is currently available to parents of 11 million children and around 400,000 pregnant women. Another example is maternity capital that is awarded without application, only based on the fact of actual birth. Three million maternity capital certificates have been issued without application since 2020. Anton Kotyakov also spoke about the proactive procedure for awarding old age insurance pensions, issuing electronic sick leave certificates, and awarding monthly benefits for veterans and people with disabilities.)

In 2023, we applied this proactive approach to eleven support measures. Currently, we award benefits based on actual life circumstances or, if some information is lacking, we send a draft document via the eligible applicant’s online account. The applicant will verify data, sign the document electronically, and we will use the document to award benefits.

I want to note that the social treasury principle goes beyond benefits. The project also covers complex social services. As an example, we have changed our approach to medical and social expert assessment. Previously, people with disabilities had to collect the entire package of medical certificates, medical examinations, and other supporting documents, submit the package to a medical and social assessment board or institution for review and undergo an examination to be qualified as a person with a specific disability type.

Starting from July 1, 2022, we launched an electronic document exchange for healthcare facilities and medical and social assessment institutions. Therefore, the entire package of supporting documents from healthcare facilities is now forwarded for medical and social assessment, undergoes pharmacological review and is then ready for review by a medical and social assessment board.

The electronic document exchange significantly reduces the time required for a medical and social assessment. Currently, applications are processed within ten working days and for some categories of citizens, such as special military operation veterans (particularly, amputees), within three working days. The system allows us to strictly monitor processing times.

Thanks to the system of personal accounts on the Unified Public Services Portal, which we have created and streamlined jointly with the Ministry of Digital Development, people can monitor the status and flow of their documents. In other words, they can use their accounts to check the flow of documents, relevant decisions, and information on the individual rehabilitation programme, including the list of assistive devices, approved for them following a medical and social assessment.

After that, people can independently choose methods of acquiring assistive devices.

I would like to speak separately about the system of informing our citizens on various life situations. There are eight life situations on which we can proactively inform our citizens, that is, not only about the services available to them but also about the situations in which people receive a whole package of services from the state, like marriage, pregnancy, and the birth of a child. In these situations, people will have access to a set of state support measures designed for a specific situation.

(Anton Kotyakov briefed the President on the conditions for providing social support measures in the new regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions – where the introduction of the principles of social treasury has been complicated by the fact that the data bases are not digitised and the existing information systems lack unified data formats. Since January 1, 2024, all social support measures stipulated in the federal legislation have been provided in the new territories in a specific manner because people sometimes submit their documents in hard copy and not in the Russian language. However, such documents do not require a translation and are accepted as is.)

To promptly incorporate the new territories and new entities into the social policy of the Russian Federation, we started with creating the necessary social infrastructure. The branches of the Social Insurance Fund were the first elements we created in our area of responsibility, so that people could receive pensions and measures of social support without delay. After that, we set up labour inspections, a system of medical and social assessment, and employment services.

We were also faced with the issue of public sector staffing in our area of social responsibility and in other departments, such as healthcare, culture, and sports establishments.

Initially, when we were putting this service in place, we actively used secondment of employees from other regions to Russia’s new territories, and also had our branches in other 75 regions remotely process all the information that was coming in.

Why am I emphasising this? Because that enabled us to promptly collect all the documents required to provide most of the people with measures of support, all at the same time. Since the beginning of 2023, we have already appointed Russian pensions for 1,400,000 of our citizens. [Registering them all as Russian pensioners] required the processing of a lot of documents, confirming each applicant’s pensionable service, and so on. This had to be done manually.

In addition to pensions, starting from 2023, certain categories of residents in these territories became entitled to additional monthly benefits (over 220,000 have already been approved), as well as single child and pregnancy benefits (247,000 have been approved). Today, we have extended the transition period on certain programmes beyond 2024 – we understand that part of relevant infrastructure may not be ready yet in some areas, so we cannot just cancel these provisions within the existing legal framework.

Predictably, staffing the recovering enterprises in the new regions is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Looking at the current labour market situation – I mean the number of job seekers across the Russian Federation – unemployment is at a record low, and there is a high demand from employers, especially for blue-collar jobs. This pattern is even more pronounced in the new regions because local employers need narrow specialists in fields like production cycles, construction works, and transport drivers.

In this regard, we opened employment centres in these territories and organised retraining. Today, about 87 percent of job seekers who applied to these centres in the new regions find employment. We are now actively working with local companies and other Russian regions on a programme to stimulate employment.

At the initial stage, it was community work such as dismantling the rubble and repairs. Now we need these people to upgrade their qualifications, to involve them in specific segments of industry. In general, Mr President, we are committed to ensuring a uniform level of social policy across the country.

Of course, the regions have the authority to provide more social support measures for certain categories of residents, but our job is to develop minimum uniform requirements and standards for the provision of these services. We are working to ensure that the new territories are able to implement the principles of social treasury in the coming years.

Vladimir Putin: Good. Thank you very much.


April 10, 2024, The Kremlin, Moscow