Premier de-facto suspends mandatory pension fund deductions in Armenia
YEREVAN, April 23. /ARKA/. Armenia’s premier Hovik Abrahamyan brought up seven provisions Wednesday to lay groundwork for pension reform process and to guide sociopolitical forces, with the main one de-facto suspending the mandatory component of the reform, the government press office reported.
On April 28 the country’s National Assembly will start discussing the bill about suspension of penalizing under the funded pension law before the new pension law package is passed by the parliament, as required by the constitutional court ruling of April 2.
The society has already called it “mandatory component suspension” bill, Abrahamyan said.
According to the premier, the pension reform was vitally important for Armenia to ensure safe life to the elderly irrespective of their party affiliation or social status. “We can achieve this through joint efforts”, the premier said.
It will be the victory of all political forces and NGOs, as well as of “Dem Am” protest group when the pension reform is successful, Abrahamyan said.
By September 30 there will be another package of laws not conflicting with the constitution and acceptable to public at large, the premier said.
According to Abrahamyan, the country will be transferring from now to a pension reform under maximum flexibility formula, which means the aim will be achieved by best acceptable and less sensitive means and, which is most important, through joint efforts.
Abrahamyan expressed confidence the pension reform in Armenia will include a mandatory component, but a way advantageous to everyone should be found to promote citizens’ involvement in the process. “Mandatory, but not forced”, he added.
The premier said when such a way and decision is found he will be consistent in implementing it.
“Even if there will be still small groups continuing opposing, I will become even more consistent and will personally explain to everyone what his mistakes are. But for this, first of all myself, I shall be confident it’s the right way we proceed”, the premier said.
Abrahamyan also said the employers who increased wages to allow for mandatory pension fund deductions will have to continue making transfers.
“These amounts will not be lost, and I am just asking to wait a couple of months for the re-calculation mechanisms to be fixed. All employees who have already paid their pension fees will only benefit from it”, the premier noted.
On April 2 Armenia’s Constitutional Court declared a number of provisions of the new funded pension plan law conflicting with the country’s constitution and, hence invalid. The Court set September 30 as the deadline for harmonizing the funded pension legislation with its decision. All payments to pension funds charged under the new law before the ruling must be re-calculated.
According to a poll by Gallup International Association, over 88% of 1,066 respondents in Yerevan have not supported the new funded pension scheme. –0--