by Marina Hovanisyan
Public Interest Group "I'm Against!" seeks to involve more students and teachers of higher educational establishments in the movement against the mandatory accumulative pension system, representatives of the Group said at the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University.
They think the students should care for their future and do not neglect the current processes. Earlier the activists met with the students of the Yerevan State Engineering University and called them to take an active part in the rally scheduled for 22 March. The activists call the new pension system anti-social, anti- constitutional and inadmissible.
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). Four opposition parties, ARFD, ANC, PAP and Heritage appealed to the Constitutional Court against the pension reform. The Constitutional Court adopted a decision on January 24 suspending 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.