State Pensions Are Secure, Says President

Talking with journalists for an interview televised Dec. 13, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev explained the reason for the transition of the United Accumulated Pension Fund to the private sector, saying that Kazakhstan has joined international best practice by introducing three categories of pension payers: taxpayers, employers and the state. Before that the only payer was the state.

“The pension money should be preserved in a way it is in safety and can multiply,” Nazarbayev added.

The head of state also mentioned that when local banks experienced consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, they were generally in a position to lose all the money. In this situation, the state decided to take the responsibility for pension savings and keep it under control of the National Bank. However, now the bank is overloaded with tasks, including the creation of the Astana International Financial Centre. Private banks concluded agreements with the state to preserve pension savings and make them grow.

“I think there are no reasons to worry. The task of the state is to ensure that the money is safe,” said the President.

Nazarbayev recalled his address where he gave specific instructions not to use pension funds as credits for all types of businesses, saying that only the government is empowered to do that in order to cover the budget deficit.

The decision to change the owner of the pension fund was made by the President in 2013. The United Accumulated Pension Fund owned by the Kazakh government was established on the base of the National Accumulated Pension Fund, 100 percent of which belonged to the National Bank.

On Nov. 30, the President decided to take the pension fund, the problem loan fund as well as other financial institutions out of the control of the National Bank. The decision was positively received by local experts.

“The United Accumulated Pension Fund is now able to function under market conditions,” said Bolat Zhamishev, head of the Kazakhstan Development Bank and a former finance minister.