Over 50% of the people in Kazakhstan feel skeptic about the future of their retirement savings

DEMOSCOPE Bureau for Express Monitoring of Public Opinion has conducted a public opinion poll to find out what people in Kazakhstan think about the future of their retirement savings.

1,963 people from Astana, Almaty and 14 regional centers of Kazakhstan took part in the poll. 82% of women and 18% of men aged over 18 were interviewed. The maximum statistical error did not exceed 1.33% with 90% possibility.

The respondents were interviewed by phone and online between 03 and 13 December 2016.


41% of the respondents believe in retirement savings to guarantee stable payments upon reaching retirement age.

43% of the Kazakhstan citizens have concerns they will receive retirement payments someday, with people aged 30-39 expressing the greatest doubts (51%). Taking the regional split, the respondents from East Kazakhstan and Mangistau Oblast were the most skeptical in this regard (70% and 72% correspondingly).

Another 16% of the interviewees said that retirement contributions are actually an additional tax, and “the majority of this money will be stolen anyway in the end”.

Such pessimistic feelings of Kazakhstan people can be explained by the fact that in 2015 the country’s National Bank wrote off 90 billion tenge after all pension funds had been united into the Single National Pension Fund. And no comments have been given since then to explain where they went.

At the same time, 35% of the interviewees agree with the system of retirement savings existing in Kazakhstan. On the contrary, 31 percent are sure that the retirement contribution system should be changed, as the existing model does not work well. Another 34% of the respondents found it hard to answer the question.

Those who presently receive payments were mainly optimistic about the existing system. Within the poll, two groups of older respondents, aged 60-69 and over 70, were interviewed. Out of them 74% and 76% correspondingly believe the payments are guaranteed and stable.

36% of the respondents are not glad with pension funds being used as investments into different sectors of economy. But they understand it considering the current economic situation. The majority of opponents of such way to use pension money were from East Kazakhstan Oblast (67%) and Kyzylordinskaya Oblast (68%).

35% of people in Kazakhstan are totally against this way of using retirement savings. They prefer money to be deposited in the bank.

The remaining 29% agree with the way how the savings from SNPF are invested into economy and believe these funds will be wisely used and thus increased.

43% of the interviewed men felt more positive about using pension funds as investments into different sectors of economy. While only 26% among the female respondents had similar point of view.

49% of the respondents think the pension age should be decreased, as poor health of the majority of citizens at this age does not allow them to work.

On the contrary, another 34% are sure it is possible to work till this age, but it’s mostly impossible for an older person to find job.  And only 17% were optimistic, believing it is possible for the majority of Kazakhstani citizens to work till this age.

To remind, till 2018 the pension age in Kazakhstan for men will be 63, and for women – 58. According to Article 11 of the Law on pension provision, the women’s pension age will be increased by six months each year from 2018 till 2027 to reach 63 years. Thus, women who were born in 1964 will retire at the age of 63, the same as men will do.

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