by Nana Martirosyan
The forthcoming large gathering-march os the non-power parties, Armenian National congress, Heritage, Prosperous Armenia Party and ARF Dashnaktiutyun at Yerevan's Liberty Square, on 18 January against the new cumulative pension system, may result in cancel of the given "reform", economist, Vardan Bostanjan, said at today's press-conference.
"The people of Armenia do not want new pension reform, and the political forces will support them. At the same time we must realize it is not that easy, the model of state pensions may not work one day, as it happened with the Soviet system. No one says the cumulative pension plan is not necessary. The point is why do they want to introduce it right now without any reference to the current situation?"- Bostanjyan asked and added that he does not understand, why foreign companies should command finances of Armenian citizens.
He said that different parties voiced criticism against pension reform, however, the authorities did not understand absurdity of the new system. "I would not be against the given system, if I were confident that there are guarantees of my safe old age. But there are not such guarantees at present", - he said. He also added that the new pension system and raising of the gas tariffs will hit Armenian citizens in the wallet. "And the companies which promise "to compensate" introduction of the accumulative system simply lie, as the promised raising of salary is an elementary bluff directed at supporting of the regime, but not a citizen", - the economist concluded.
To recall, the voluntary accumulative pension system was introduced in Armenia on Jan 1 2011. The system will become compulsory starting Jan 1 2014. According to the bill, the minimal pension in the country will be equal to the minimum wage, while the basic pension will total 150% of the minimum wage. The compulsory accumulative pension system will apply to the citizens born after Jan 1 1974 (the citizens below 40). Starting Jan 1 2014, 5% of their salaries will be transferred to their personal accumulative accounts. The government will transfer a similar amount (but no more than 25,000 drams). It is noteworthy that 6.6%-13% and not 5% of the monthly wages will be charged, as the charges will be made from the so-called "brutto-salary."