Armenia’s new funded pension plan contains signs of discrimination – advocate

Armenia’s new funded pension plan contains signs of discrimination – advocate

YEREVAN, March 28. /ARKA/. The provisions of the new funded pension scheme contain signs of discrimination and conflict with Armenia’s Constitution, advocate Mery Khachatryan said at the Constitutional Court session about constitutionality of the new scheme Friday.

There is age and income discrimination in the new provision, Khachatryan said.

The advocate stressed the new law conflicts also with inviolability of property rights, as citizens are not allowed to dispose of their money.

“People could deposit this money at a bank and get much higher income, but the law is restricting one of the fundamental human rights”, she said.

The new provisions conflict also with Armenia’s international obligations and the European Court precedents, according to the advocate.

The new pension system requires that all Armenian citizens born after 1973 pay social security taxes equivalent to 5 percent of their monthly wages. As much is to be allocated by the government. That money has to be deposited with private pension funds licensed by the government.

On January 24 Armenia’s Constitutional Court suspended Article 76 of the new pension law, which provides for penalties for failed or delayed pension tax payments, and the third paragraph of Article 86, which obligates employed citizens to choose a pension fund, among other parts of the law. The Court will conclude the inquiry on March 28, 2014.

The constitutionality of the law was challenged by three opposition parties in the National Assembly — the Armenian National Congress, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and the Heritage Party — along with the usually pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party.

According to a poll by Gallup International Association, over 88% of some 1,066 respondents in Yerevan have not supported the new funded pension scheme. –0--

14:45 28.03.2014

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