Russian pensioners in conditions of crisis

Russian pensioners in conditions of crisis

Kozyreva P. M.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), First Deputy Director of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Center for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute for Social Policy of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Smirnov A.I.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Kozyreva P. M., Smirnov A.I. Russian pensioners in conditions of crisis. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 1. P. 64-73


This article deals with the problems and peculiarities of Russian pensioners’ adapting to conditions of prolonged economic crisis, which has brought many of them to the brink of survival forcing people to turn to the backup methods of social adaptation. The analysis is based on Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of HSE (RLMS-HSE) data. It is shown that feelings of shrinking social opportunities impact considerably dynamics and venues for elderly people adaptation to crisis situation. Deteriorating living conditions of pensioners often lead them to save, rather than activate effective coping mechanisms. Such saving strategy helps to survive, but does not improve/maintain usual standard of living. A decrease in the level of material and social claims, interest for quality aspects of life, as well as inert thinking hampers the adaptation process to everyday living conditions for elderly folk, drastically restricting the scope of action for effective adaptation mechanisms. However, intensifying weariness and pessimistic expectations regarding ever deepening crisis are usually combined with readiness to endure hardships of life and burdens of crisis period without any commotion or panic and without doing any harm to the one’s health. Pensioners aable to work or to receive financial and psychological support from their families are much better off. The article analyzes problems of the elder generation’s employment currently not being resolved consistently and effectively enough.

pensioners; social adaptation; life satisfaction; living standards; economic crisis


Foht E. (2016) Rashody rossijan prevysili ih dohody vpervye s 1998 goda [Expenditures of Russians have exceeded their incomes for the first time since 1998]. URL: (data of visit: 10.02.2016).

Mareeva S. V. (2016) Chislennost’ i sostav srednego klassa v sovremennoj Rossii [The size and composition of the middle class in contemporary Russia]. Srednij klass v sovremennoj Rossii. Opyt mnogoletnih issledovanij / Ed. by Gorshkov M.K., Tihonova N. E. Moscow: Izdatelstvo Ves Mir. P. 15–37. (In Russ.)

Obshhestvennoe mnenie: vse huzhe i huzhe (2016) [Public opinion: from bad to worse]. Expert. No 6.: 4–5. (In Russ.)

Solov’eva O. Rossijane perehodjat na deshevye produkty [The Russians are moving to cheaper products]. Nezavisimaja gazeta. 2015. 3.04. (In Russ.)

Zabelina N. Ceny na uslugi ZhKH rastut operezhajushhimi tempami [Prices for utility services grow faster pace]. Nezavisimaja gazeta. 2015. 26.11. (In Russ.)

Content No 1, 2017