by Karina Manukyan
Compulsory accumulative pension system prompted another action of protest in Yerevan today on 7 December. This is not the first action of protest this week. This time, activists organized a march of protest on bikes. Several dozens of activists cycled along the city streets carrying flags "I am against," informing people on the negative aspects of the pension reform and calling everyone to join their fight.
Introduction of the compulsory accumulative pension system in Armenia has sparked public outrage in Armenia. People complain against upcoming salary charges amid rising gas and electricity tariffs. The transport fare may also be increased by 50%-100% next year. Such kind of reforms may even more deteriorate the heavy social situation in the country, experts say.
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." On 15 November the Republican Party boycotted the extraordinary meeting of the Parliament over the issue. Later on 21 November, an action of protest was held in front of the Government against the pension reform.