YEREVAN, December 3. /ARKA/. The voting in the National Assembly on proposal to postpone introduction of the mandatory accumulative pension system in Armenia is scheduled for Wednesday, Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan said at a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
Speaking at the session, Artsvik Minasyan, an MP from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Dashnaktsutiun party, proposed to conduct a referendum to see public sentiments.
He said that the protests being staged in the country show that many people are strongly opposed to this pension reform.
The lawmaker said that people are offered to choose funds in which they will accumulate their money and they must make their choice before January 1, but they are ill-informed about the imminent changes.
“We are proposing to postpone the introduction of the obligatory component to remove faults, and if the government manages to convince us that this law enforcement is beneficial to our society, we, on our side, will explain these advantages to people,” Minasyan said.
Naira Zohrabyan, head of Prosperous Armenia party’s faction in the National Assembly, who spoke at the session as well, said not a single citizen has used the voluntary accumulative pension system since it was offered to citizens in January 2011. She joined her fellow MP Minasyan in insisting on a referendum.
Levon Zurabyan, head of the Armenian National Congress, said that this opposition political parties’ bloc will vote for postponement and it supports all the citizens who took to the streets to voice their protest.
An extraordinary parliamentary session was to be held on November 15, but didn’t take place because the number of MPs gathered for the session was insufficient to hold it. The thing was that lawmakers from the ruling coalition made up of the Republican Party of Armenia and Orinats Yerkir didn’t come to the session to vote on the adjournment proposal put forward by Prosperous Armenia, the Armenian National Congress opposition party bloc, Heritage and Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Dashnaktsutiun.
The word of the session failure caused by absence the ruling coalition’s parliament members prompted public anger. Some public activists accompanied by opposition-minded MPs went to the Armenian Republicans’ head office and demanded to replace word “mandatory” (accumulative pension system) with (voluntary) in the law.
The Armenian government launched pension reforms on January 1, 2011 by introducing a voluntary accumulative pension system, and on January 1, 2014, the authorities want to introduce a mandatory accumulative pension system and oblige some 250,000 people born later than January 1974 to pay 5% of their salaries every month saying that another five percent, but no more than AMD 25,000 (AMD 300,000 for entrepreneurs) will be added by the government. ----0-----