in the USSR, the individual worker’s or office worker’s wage rate calculated for a given base period according to special rules and reflective of the regular payments ordinarily received under the relevant system of labor remuneration.
As provided for in the labor laws, the average wage is paid during regular vacations, business trips, and transfers to other employment for work-related and other reasons. It is also paid to pregnant women and nursing mothers transferred to lighter work, to those engaged in the performance of state and civic duties, and to those in certain other categories.
The average wage is the basis on which state pensions, state social insurance benefits, and workmen’s compensation are figured. As a rule, there is a standard method of calculating the average wage in each particular case. However, basic and supplementary wages permanent in nature are always included in the base figure—for example, payments received pursuant to wage scales and salaries, payments and allowances over and above wage scales and salaries, bonuses specified in the labor-remuneration system, and year-end bonuses. One-time and incidental payments, which are not provided for in the labor-remuneration system, are not included—for example, guaranteed and compensation payments while on business trips or during transfers (per diem, lodging, and relocation allowances), one-time incentive bonuses, and severance pay.
The average wage is calculated on the basis of various time periods. In calculating vacation pay, for example, the base figure is the wage received in the last 12 calendar months prior to the month in which the vacation is taken. In calculating pensions, the base figure is the wage received over the last 12 months of employment, or, if the pensioner so desires, over any consecutive five-year period during the last ten years of employment prior to retirement or over the two years in which wages were highest subsequent to the designation of the pension. In calculating workmen’s compensation, the base figure is the wage received in the last 12 calendar months preceding the injury or illness. In calculating both pensions and workmen’s compensation, the months during which a worker remained employed but, for valid reasons, did not put in a sufficient number of working days or did not work at all—for example, because of illness—may be excluded by request of the worker and replaced by other months in which the worker worked full time. In calculating state social insurance benefits and in other cases, the average wage is taken as that of the two preceding calendar months.