by Ashot Safaryan
The Republican Party of Armenia holds no discussions on the mandatory accumulative pension system before 28 March, said Galust Sahakyan, Deputy Head of the RPA, Head of the RPA Faction in the Parliament, commenting on media reports on the government's decision to make concessions under public pressure.
"The Republican Party will voice its stance after 28 March when the Constitutional Court adopts the final decision on the constitutionality of the Law on Mandatory Accumulative Pension System. Consequently, it is senseless speaking on any concessions," Sahakyan said.
To recall, the voluntary accumulative pension system was introduced in Armenia on Jan 1 2011. The system became 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). People are discontented not only at the mandatory component of the system but also at 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.