Pension support at JINR

Interview, 11 August 2022

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research has launched a programme of financial support for retiring employees. The initiative is aimed at supporting employees who have contributed their creative energy and the most able-bodied years to the development of the Institute. After all, many of them came to Dubna right after their graduation and stayed at JINR during the most difficult periods. Only those employees who have faithfully served science for many years will be able to apply for monthly payments. Head of the Human Resources and Records Management Department Elena Alexandrovna Kolganova commented on the programme in details.

– Elena Alexandrovna, pension support for former employees of JINR has been under discussion for a long time, but only now concrete steps have been taken. Could you tell us what precedes them? Meetings, working groups? Which departments took part in the elaboration of the final version?

– It is true that the issue of additional pension support for our veterans has been discussed for decades, since we were trying to find an acceptable form. With the support of the JINR Directorate, the Human Resources and Records Management Department in cooperation with the Legal Department and the Budget and Economic Policy Department found such a form last year. It is an agreement on financial support for retiring employees. The legislation of the Russian Federation allows concluding such an agreement, payments are taxed on personal income, and social insurance contributions are not accrued. Regulation and agreement drafts have been developed and sent to the members of the JINR Committee of Plenipotentiaries. At the CP session in May, such a form of financial support for veterans of the Institute was approved after additional consultations with the Plenipotentiaries of the Governments of the JINR Member States. An important argument was the fact that this measure would not increase the budget, and therefore, the membership fees of the JINR Member States. At the end of June, an order, approving the Regulation on Financial Support for Employees retiring from JINR and a form of the agreement on financial support, was issued.

– When does the Regulation come into force?

– The Regulation came into force on 1 July 2022.

– It says that JINR is in the right to establish a payment, but it is not obliged to do it. What does it mean?

– The fact is that the programme was being developed for employees, who had effectively worked for many years. According to the collective agreement of the Institute, several salaries are often paid to employees as a retirement bonus for many years of conscientious work. Further, the Directorate can also make a decision on additional financial support. It means that the Institute is not obliged to do this, but has the right to encourage the most worthy employees. Moreover, if a retiring employee has received a retirement bonus, for example, for three months, such an agreement starts taking effect after a three-month period of their retirement. For example, if an employee retires with a six-month salary bonus now, then his agreement will come into force only in February.

– Does this Regulation have retroactive effect? Could already retired employees apply for this support?

– No, agreements are concluded only since the commencement of the Regulation. It means that only those who retire after 1 July 2022 will be considered.

– What terms and conditions should a former employee meet in order to get the support?

– The Regulation has been developed for those employees, who work for the statutory objectives of the Institute. They are researchers, heads, and specialists. Criteria are many years of conscientious work without any disciplinary action, work experience at JINR of 25 years and more, and women’s age of 65 and men’s age of 70. An employee retiring from the Institute receives a part of their salary under the agreement of financial support, which is up to 50 percent of the salary with the account of time worked, but not more than 40 thousand rubles. Therefore, if an employee works on a half-time basis, then they may receive no more than a quarter of the salary, and also no more than 40 thousand rubles. The money paid under the agreement will be transferred from the salary fund to the social fund, and the rest of the money remains in the salary fund of a laboratory. Consequently, this balance can be used as a salary for new employees. As a rule, when two people retire, it is possible to hire a new employee. It means that no additional funds are needed in the budget.

– The one-year agreement is concluded with prolongation. Are any actions with regard to JINR necessary to prolong the agreement?

– A former employee has the right to participate in the life of the Institute, but they do not have to do it. The agreement has been concluded with them, because they have contributed most of their life to the Institute, which is appreciated now and will be later. No additional conditions are imposed on a payee. Those willing to continue doing something useful for JINR may keep a pass on the decision of the JINR Directorate.

– Under which conditions will the agreement be suspended?

– If a person resumes work at JINR or they have been contracted to do a specific job.

– At the previous discussions of such financial support, participants tried to take into account interests of the Member States and their pension legislation and tax liability. Does the Regulation take this moment into account?

– In this case, the agreement is not directly related to the pension legislation of the Member States. It is valid for everyone regardless of citizenship. None of the Member States has any advantages. We were striving for this while developing the Regulation.

– What has to be specifically done to participate in this programme of financial support?

– An employee writes a retirement letter. At this moment, they do not know whether they will receive a retirement bonus and the agreement will be offered. This is decided by the JINR Directorate based on the recommendation of their direct head. If a person deserves to conclude the agreement, a recommendation is written on the retirement letter. Further, the Personnel Office receives the retirement letter and prepares the agreement and order.