Armenian labor minister: government to continue sending money to citizens’ pension accounts

Armenian labor minister: government to continue sending money to citizens’ pension accounts

YEREVAN, May 14. /ARKA/. The government will continue making its contribution to citizens’ pension accounts, Armenian Labor and Social Affairs Minister Artem Asatryan said on Wednesday. 

He told journalists that before September 30 the full package of pension reforms will be sent to the National Assembly for approval, and before the bill passage by the Parliament, people who don’t make their pension payments will not be held responsible.  

«Those people who have already made their pension payments have this money on their pension accounts...» he said stressing that people who are opposed to that will have their salaries intact if they submit an appropriate written request.

Asked by journalists why the government continues paying their part of money, Asatryan said that the provision in the new pension scheme related to the government's participation in pension payments had not been found anti-constitutional, and therefore the government will continue doing it. 

On January 24, Armenia’s Constitutional Court suspended some provisions of the new, controversial law that aims to reform the country’s pension system to launch a detailed inquiry into the constitutionality of the law.

The highest court of the country 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. 

On April 2, found some provisions of the new pension law contradicting to the Constitution and voided them instructing the government to make changes here. 

Yesterday, the National Assembly passed amendments to the law suspending enforcement of the compulsory component of the new pension scheme. 

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.

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. --0---

16:33 14.05.2014

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