YEREVAN, February 13. / ARKA /. Aram Sarkisian, head of a small Democratic Party of Armenia, says the new pension scheme effective in Armenia from January 1 this year may accelerate the " brain drain. "
Speaking at a news conference he said the majority of Armenian citizens are not happy with the current situation in the country, however, the impression is that the authorities ignore their dissatisfaction.
According to Sarkisian, out-emigration is being accelerated also by widespread discontent not only at the pension reform, but also by worsening standards of living and a number of other woes.
"Our border villages are emptying and, who knows, maybe when the Armenian- Turkish border opens, Turks would come to settle in our country. Our president must change the political course, to eliminate the oligarchic system, because otherwise the situation would deteriorate significantly," he said.
The Constitutional Court of Armenia suspended Article 76 of the new 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 says it will conclude the inquiry on March 28, 2014.
The constitutionality of the new pension 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.
The new pension system requires that all Armenian citizens born after 1973 pay social security taxes equivalent to 5 percent of their monthly wages, which will be matched and doubled by the government.
That money has to be deposited with private pension funds licensed by the government late last
December. They are Amundi, which was set up by French banks Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, and Cologne-based Talanx Asset Management, a subsidiary of German insurance firm Talanx. -0-