by Ashot Safaryan
More than 88% of Armenia's population are against introduction of mandatory funded pension system, a representative of the plaintiff's party, human rights defender, Artak Zeynalyan, said at today's sitting of the Constitutional Court.
He thinks that the reasons that make population to come forward against the mandatory funded pension system are the following: there is no guarantee that the funds will be returned, there is an obvious lack of trust in the leadership of the country, and 5% is too much. "Although, 93% of the population of the country were informed about introduction of the mandatory funded pension system, 88,7% of them have come forward against it, 34,5% think that the funds will not be returned. Such a sharp reaction of citizens is an important basis for recognition of the 5th and 7th clauses of the law "On mandatory pensions" - anti-constitutional.
To note, the new funded pension plan, which formally came into force in Armenia on January 1, 2014, is mandatory for those born in and after 1974 and voluntary for those born before 1974. In line with this plan, 5 to 10 percent of the monthly salaries in Armenia will be deducted and mandatorily be allocated to cumulative pension funds; the latter will be reimbursed as pensions once a person turns 63 years old.
On January 24, however, the Constitutional Court decided to suspend the execution of some components in the Law on Funded Pensions pending the hearing on Friday.
Notwithstanding this, some employers already are deducting the mandatory pension payment from the salaries of their employees.
The law caused dissatisfaction among Armenia's civil society, and therefore paved the way for the establishment of the "Dem Em" [I am against] civic initiative, which opposes the new pension law in Armenia.
The four non-ruling-coalition parliamentary factions: the Armenian National Congress, Prosperous Armenia, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, and Heritage likewise are against this new law, and they declare that its mandatory component is anti-constitutional.