Armenian parliament speaker indicates possible changes to pension law

Armenian parliament speaker indicates possible changes to pension law

YEREVAN, March 24. / ARKA /. In response to growing opposition to a mandatory pension scheme that took effect on January 1, the chairman of Armenian parliament, Hovik Abrahamyan, did not rule out today that the controversial law may be revised.

‘The law has some faults and  may be changed, however, it will be done after discussions not as a result of pressure,’ he told reporters.

Asked whether the authorities are ready to cancel the compulsory component of the new pension
scheme  Abrahamyan said the authorities are ready to discuss it.

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. 

Armenia’s Constitutional Court suspended last month 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 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.  -0-

16:02 24.03.2014

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