The article examines the social processes accompanying implementation of the policy «active aging» in the Russian social and labor spheres. The basic concepts of «active aging» are briefly introduced and possible social mechanisms of its application are discussed in the first section of the article. Special importance is given to the analysis of social rights which form the basis for different models of the development of public welfare and the population's quality of life. In the second section, author's version of studying the perception and assessment structures by the population of the implemented reforms of the State are proposed on the basis of the paradigm of constructivism in the social sciences and the theory of symbolic power by P. Bourdieu. In the third section the results of an empirical analysis of a set of semi-structured interviews with the main subjects of the social and labor spheres and the texts of citizens' appeals to government bodies are presented. In conclusion, the symbolic struggle around the perception of the «active aging» policy in Russia is interpreted. The authors conclude that a new surge in social assistance programs for the elderly and an increase in passivity in their work behavior are expected.