Compulsory state pension insurance – what is it and to whom it is guaranteed


When paying contributions to the Pension Fund, citizens are entitled to compulsory state pension insurance. This is a service under an insurance contract with the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation (on behalf of the state), which guarantees the receipt of deductions upon retirement or achievement of special conditions for calculating benefits.


OPS in simple words

In simple terms, compulsory state pension insurance is an agreement with an insurer under which the insured person receives deductions when the right to insurance coverage arises. In short, this is a guarantee of receiving a pension in Russia, which is paid by the PFR. The essence of the service is not to leave citizens in the future without a decent existence, when the opportunity to work and earn at the same level due to age will disappear. 

There are different types of pension: for old age, military, for the loss of a breadwinner, etc. Everything that is paid out of the PFR or the FSS – the social insurance fund, refers to state contributions. There are also payments from NPFs – non-state pension funds. The insured deducts the savings for them independently, and the NPF is engaged in their investment. 

REFERENCE: the right to transfer the funded part of the pension in 2023 is valid, but there will be no deductions for new insurers. They will be received only by those who transferred savings before 2014. This pension does not affect the state provision, but supplements it. You can receive contributions from the NPF when you reach retirement age. In some cases, early termination of the contract with partial payment is possible. 

An agreement on compulsory pension insurance is concluded with those who constantly pay contributions. It is suspended when there are no accruals, and resumes after new deductions. 


Transition to a new form of pension savings

Until 2002, in the USSR and Russia, pensions were formed only from budgetary funds. For employers, this was a plus – no need to bother with documents, spend money on pension insurance for employees. But this had a negative impact on the budget. Inflation forced the FIU to increase payments. Expenses grew, and the state faced a choice – to reduce pensions or switch to a new system of their formation. 

In 2002, a pension reform took place in the Russian Federation. The principles of pension formation have changed. A new system of mandatory pension insurance has emerged. Now partly it also depends on the state. But the main part is still deductions from the income of a citizen. 

IMPORTANT: the changes have led to the fact that since 2002, the income of a citizen began to influence the OPS more than the length of service. The main thing is that all of them are official and that the employer pays contributions to the FIU. 


If an employee is registered under the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, he automatically becomes a participant in compulsory pension insurance, provided that the employer pays contributions. If there are no deductions, this is a reason to complain to the FIU and the labor inspectorate about a violation of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. 

Who is the insurer, insured person and policyholder

The subjects of the OPS agreement are three parties: 
    1) the insurer;
    2) the insured person;
    3) the policyholder. 

The insurer for compulsory pension insurance is the state body – PFR. Its responsibility is in the competence of the state. The insurer has its own branches in each region, where policyholders and insured citizens can come to receive compulsory pension insurance services. 

The insured persons are those who are the beneficiaries under the contract. These are persons subject to compulsory pension insurance. These include all citizens who, upon reaching retirement age, will receive payments from the PFR. The sign of the insured persons is the current OPS agreement. 

IMPORTANT: policyholders and insured persons are not always the same. If the insured pays a pension to the Pension Fund and the social fund for himself, he will act in both roles. Otherwise, the policyholder will be another person – usually the employee’s employer. 

The insured is a person who pays contributions to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation under the concluded insurance contract. Taking into account the legislation of the Russian Federation, both legal entities and individuals can be insurers. Legal entities – commercial organizations that hire employees under the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and pay contributions to the Pension Fund for them – are always insurers for their personnel. The payment of insurance premiums for compulsory pension insurance is their main obligation in the field of the OPS agreement. 


Individual entrepreneurs can also hire staff. In this case, he will also be the insured. If an individual entrepreneur does not hire workers, he still must deduct funds under the OPS agreement. Then he is the insured and the insured person at the same time. 

Who does not participate in the OPS

It is not enough to have SNILS and a passport in order to qualify for insurance coverage from the PFR in the future. Only contributions to the fund guarantee the opening of an OPS agreement and the assignment of the status of an insured person. 

Mandatory pension insurance does not apply to those who do not make contributions to the Pension Fund. These are workers under the GPC agreement, self-employed and part-time employees who do not pay insurance premiums. As soon as a citizen enters into an OPS agreement, he receives the right to pension provision upon the occurrence of the conditions necessary for the appointment of a pension. 

Any holder of SNILS who has concluded an OPS agreement and pays contributions to the pension fund is entitled to compulsory pension insurance. If the contributions are not paid, the insurance contract is temporarily terminated. When the policyholder transfers funds to the fund again, the insured person becomes entitled to pension coverage. 


Example: an individual entrepreneur does not hire employees, but steadily pays contributions to the Pension Fund and the Social Insurance Fund. He becomes eligible for an insurance pension. A self-employed person (a new category of officially employed citizens in the Russian Federation) has not concluded an OPS agreement, there are no contributions to the fund. The provision of the PFR does not apply to him. 

How to get SNILS 

The right to state pension insurance arises after a citizen opens an individual pension account with the Pension Fund and gets an official job. You can get an insurance certificate of compulsory pension insurance at any branch of the PFR. 

REFERENCE: where to get SNILS is the choice of each insured person. For accelerated processing of documents, it is advisable to contact the PFR department at the place of registration or temporary residence. You can also apply for the issuance of SNILS through the State Services, the MFC, the PFR Internet portal. 

At the beginning of 2019, the form of SNILS changed. Now the PFR does not issue the traditional green card. But this does not mean that it is impossible to get your number in the pension fund. You can always find it online in your personal account or in the office of the fund. For convenience, some print it on paper. But you can just save the number. 

It is not worth delaying obtaining an individual insurance number in the FIU. Without it, it is impossible to officially get a job. They don’t even give a loan without SNILS in 2023, except perhaps in MFIs. Therefore, everyone who wants to fully use pension services in the country should think about getting SNILS as soon as possible.


IMPORTANT: you can apply for it without waiting for an official job. The presence of SNILS makes it possible not only to receive pension guarantees, but also to attach to a state clinic. 

The issuance of an individual insurance number in the FIU is possible from the moment of birth. It is enough for the child’s parents to obtain a birth certificate, and then apply for SNILS at the FIU or the MFC. 

Possible difficulties with the OPS agreement

The opinion that no one needs payments to the FIU in youth is erroneous. The formation of an individual fund, from which citizens receive their pension when they reach a certain age, is possible just after the insured person has officially worked for many years paying contributions to the Pension Fund.  

If there are no contributions, it is impossible to count on a decent pension in the future. Protection of working insured persons from lack of money at retirement age is one of the principles of compulsory pension insurance. But payments are guaranteed only to those who have made efforts to receive them. 

Difficulties with the OPS agreement are typical for foreigners or anyone who, bypassing the pension system in the country, tries to work unofficially. At the same time, many, upon reaching retirement age, apply for benefits that are paid in the minimum amount. Because the PFR savings were not formed from the earnings of citizens, therefore, the fund simply has nothing to pay the beneficiaries a pension in the event of such an obligation. 

The task of everyone who does not want to be left without an insurance pension in the future is to save for retirement from a young age. To do this, you need to choose only official employment. It differs in both the social package and the accrual of pensions. 

Those who work for themselves, primarily the self-employed, can also become policyholders and insured persons. Yes, for them there are no obligations to pay contributions to the FIU, unlike individual entrepreneurs. But you can enter into a voluntary insurance relationship with the fund and contribute to your pension on your own. This will affect the amount of payments in old age. 

Security vs Insurance – What’s the difference?

Compulsory state pension insurance guarantees the right to receive pension benefits when the recipient reaches a certain age or the conditions necessary for their appointment. When payments are made, they talk about pension provision – the process of receiving benefits from the PFR. 

In short, insurance is a process of paying premiums. Provision is the process of obtaining them. Security does not only arise at retirement. Military personnel, public servants, recipients of social pensions and benefits are faced with state security earlier than other citizens. Most people are entitled to only a “standard” pension. 

When does the right to insurance pension provision arise?

Under the new laws, women are entitled to pension contributions at 60, men at 65. But the planned increase in the retirement age has not yet been completed, it is happening gradually. In 2023, women have the right to receive a pension from the age of 58, men – from 63. If there are benefits and privileges (work in the North, living in the Chernobyl zone), the retirement age is reduced. 

You can also retire early. To do this, you need to get sufficient insurance experience. Other conditions – a large family, military service, work in difficult conditions – are also taken into account when recalculating contributions to the Pension Fund and granting the right to insurance coverage. 

Where to find information about the OPS agreement

Data on SNILS and the amount of the future pension are available in the personal account of the PFR. To register in it, only an individual insurance number and a mobile phone are required. You can use both the traditional desktop version for PCs and laptops, and the mobile application. 

To find out which years are taken into account in the insurance period, how much is the pension coefficient by which the pension is calculated, you can order an extract. It is free and in electronic format is also available in the fund’s personal account. In addition, insured citizens can obtain this information at the PFR office at the place of registration or on the State Services website.


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