by Ashot Safaryan
A bike protest against introduction of the compulsory accumulative pension system will be held in Yerevan on March 15, "I'm Against" civic initiative's statement says.
The statement says that the cyclists will hand out leaflets informing the citizens of the further actions of the initiative. "We ask you to be active to gain tangible results in the fight against introduction of that system", says the statement.
To recall, the voluntary accumulative pension system was introduced in Armenia on Jan 1 2011. The system became compulsory on Jan 1 2014. According to the law 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 covers the citizens born after Jan 1 1974 (the citizens below 40). Starting Jan 1 2014, 5% of their salaries are transferred to their personal accumulative accounts. The government transfers a similar amount (but no more than 25,000 drams). People are displeased not only with the mandatory component of the system but also with the absurd situation following the Constitutional Court's decision of January 24 that suspended some provisions of the Law on the Accumulative Pension until the Court considers its constitutionality on Mar 28 2014. The Court suspended Article 76 stipulating responsibility for refusing to make compulsory pension contributions or failing to do in time and Paragraph 3 of Article 86 saying that the employees covered by the system should choose a pension fund. Nevertheless, the Finance Ministry of Armenia urges employers to calculate and make accumulative pension payments and employees to choose a pension fund and a manager for it. The picketers call the given approach a robbery.