Legislative changes in Kazakhstan, including higher pensions and more expensive cigarettes, take effect in July

ASTANA – Recent changes to Kazakhstan’s legislation have resulted in higher pensions, more social assistance payments and more expensive cigarettes, while procedures for issuing visas and electronic passports for vehicles have been altered.

Economy NIB

Higher basic pension payment

Some changes involved the calculation of basic pensions, which previously comprised 15,274 tenge (US$44.75) or 54 percent of the subsistence minimum and were the same for all pensioners. Now the basic pension amount is directly proportional to work experience and the duration of an individual’s participation in the national pension scheme.

If a citizen worked for 10 years or less or did not work at all, the basic pension is set at 54 percent of the subsistence minimum. With more than 10 years of work experience, the payment increases by 2 percent with each additional year. For pensioners with more than 33 years of work experience, the basic pension comprises 100 percent of the subsistence minimum, which is set at 28,284 tenge (US$82.90) this year.

The basic pension recalculation will be made automatically for all pensioners, and no additional documents are required to be provided.

New type of social assistance

Individuals who take care of people with disabilities belonging to the first category over the age of 18 are entitled to a state benefit set at 1.05 of the subsistence minimum or 29,699 tenge (US$86.2) this year. The benefit is appointed for life and time spent is counted as work experience in pension payment calculations. The new state benefit will be extended to approximately 14,000 families.

Electronic passports for vehicles

Electronic passports for vehicles came into force July 1. The electronic passports contain information about a given vehicle, its history, restrictions on its use, the quality and volume of maintenance works and its involvement in accidents since the date of production or entry to the Eurasian Economic Union. The passports simplify document processing, lower transaction costs and ensure transparency during each stage of vehicle use.

Easier visa procedures

Starting July 1, letters of invitation for visa applications must be submitted no later than five working days prior to the expected date of a foreign citizen’s entry to Kazakhstan. Previously, the invitations had to be submitted no later than 14 working days before the entry.

Invitation letters should include the foreigner’s address of residence in Kazakhstan and his or her itinerary. Specifying this information exempts the foreign citizen with the visa from the responsibility of registering with the local migration office.

The application terms for valid visa extension have also been changed. Applications must now be submitted no earlier than 30 working days but no later than five working days before visa expiration.

More expensive cigarettes

Starting July 1, the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes will jump to 360 tenge (US$1.04). In six months, cigarette packs will become more expensive by another 20 tenge (US$0.06).