Padvalkava, Katsiaryna (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 02 March 2020.
In Belarus, the only post-Soviet country in the Eastern European region with unreformed pension system, the fact of the largest cohort approaching the official age of retirement not only sees an increasing burden on the system of state pension provision, but also brings considerable change to state-society relations. Qualitative study of these relations explores understanding of retirement through interviews with Belarusians approaching pension age. Lefebvre's theoretical framework is used to present the findings.
Through the years of socio-economic transition the retiring generation of Belarusians have preserved a “socialist” understanding of pensions - of it being a state’s responsibility and a deserved reward for the years of service. Yet in contemporary Belarus the average pension’s monetary value does not correspond to people’s expectations and hence, as a way of dealing with perceived injustice, the majority of Belarusians plan to work in retirement in order to provide a decent living for themselves and their families, thus undermining the essence of pension as a period of discontinued work. The research’s conclusions suggest that analysing pensions as a social contract for retirement is very important for finding an appropriate approach to changes in pension provision and communicating the direction of proposed pension reform.
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