Russian lawmakers vote to back controversial pension bill

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Demonstrators hold a poster that reads: "We are against the raising of the retirement age" during a protest against the government's plans to raise the retirement age, in front of the Russian State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. The State Duma is expected to vote on the second reading of the bill that could raise the retirement age for the old-age pension by five years. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The lower house of the Russian parliament has given its preliminary approval for a controversial bill that raises the eligibility ages for pensions, which has caused an outrage in Russian society.

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The government's plan to raise the retirement ages for men and women by five years has irked Russians from all political factions. Older Russians fear they won't live long enough to collect benefits while younger generations are worried that keeping people in the workforce longer will limit their own employment opportunities.

The State Duma on Wednesday voted to adopt the second reading of the bill, raising the pension age to 65 years for men and 60 years for women.

The bill still has to pass a third reading, go to the upper house of parliament and get signed by the president.