State of social services in Kazakhstan: trends and progress (1991-2011)

Ulbossyn Zhanatayeva, Eurasian National University
Kuralai Mukhambetova, Erasian National University

Over the last 20 years of independent development there have been many changes in the social sphere (as well as in politics and in the economy) of Kazakhstan, particularly in the pension system and in education. In 1998 Kazakhstan developed a new pension system. Until 1998 there were so-called principle of solidarity pensions. We describe those as deductions from the wages of working citizens which were used to fund payments to retirees. There was only a single state pension fund. Since 1998 the pension system exists as a cumulative system. That means that the revenue agency deducts 10% from the salary of all employees, and transfers that sum to their pension fund. We have both state pension funds and private pension funds (of which there are more than 10). During the Soviet times there were only state-owned kindergartens, schools, and Universities, in Kazakhstan. Since 1993 Kazakhstan opened private kindergartens, schools, and universities. Kazakhstan underwent positive changes during the years of its independence, but there were problems also, especially in the first few years after independence (1991-1995). The existing legislation did not reflect the reality and the needs of the social system. There was also a lack of a financing of the social sphere. The retirement age of Kazakh citizens has now been increased (women now retire at 58, and men at 63). However, most men did not live much longer after they retire (average life expectancy for men is 60 years old, although it is now steadily increasing).

Presented in Poster Session 1