Estonia reports problems with exchange of pension money with Russia, Belarus

  • 2022-11-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Social Insurance Board of Estonia has approached the ministries of foreign affairs, social affairs and finance to seek help with problems related to the exchange of funds for the payment of pensions with Russia and Belarus. 

"The payment of pension funds between the countries has been significantly hampered and the performance of the agreements has proved almost impossible," Maret Maripuu, director general of the Social Insurance Board, said in the letter.

For example, there are still big problems with pensions due from Russia for the third quarter.

"Estonia transferred pension funds to both Russia and Belarus on time. The transfer of pension funds by the Russian side failed three times. As a fourth option, the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation transferred funds for the payment of pensions in the amount of 1,052,802.86 euros to the Social Insurance Board's current account at Priorbank in Belarus, on the proposal of the Social Insurance Board and with the consent of the Ministry of Social Affairs. However, our attempt to transfer the amount to Swedbank failed," Maripuu said.

As a result, 4,038 people living in Estonia have not received their pensions for the third quarter.

The agency is actively trying to find out whether the money can be transferred from the Belarusian bank to Estonia. If not, the money could be used to pay pensions in Belarus. The amount is enough to cover payouts for three quarters, as payments to people with Estonian pension entitlements living in Belarus total around 320,000 per quarter.

Estonia meanwhile should find necessary funds to exceptionally pay out Russian pensions for the third quarter to 4,038 people here.

Around 4,400 people in Russia receive pensions paid by Estonia and the amount subject to be transferred is around three million euros. With Russia, the exchange of fourth-quarter pension money must be done by Nov. 25, while with Belarus the amounts for the fourth quarter must be exchanged by Dec. 10.

There is no certainty, however, that subsequent bank transfers to Belarus and Russia will be successful. Another problem is posed by the fact that, according to the agreements, the pension money must be transferred in Russian and Belarusian rubles, respectively, the Social Insurance Board said.