YEREVAN, December 27. /ARKA/. Aharon Adibekyan, director of Sociometer center for sociological studies, thinks that the introduction of mandatory accumulative pension system in Armenia a right step. “Pension reforms will enable the government to ensure decent living standards to us when we grow old,” he said Friday at a news conference.
Asked by ARKA News Agency about obligatory component of this reform, Adibekyan said that this component was necessary, since not a single citizen of Armenia wants to commit their money to pension funds’ trust.
The pension system reformation was launched in Armenia on January 1, 2011. The obligatory accumulative pension system is planned to be introduced in the country in January 2014. The system targets all the citizens born later than Jan 1, 1974.
Under the reform plan approved by the government years ago, Armenia was to switch to the new system in January 2010 whereby the amount of monthly benefits paid to retired citizens will depend on their and their employers’ contributions to the fund. People will send to their accumulative pension account 5% of their salaries every month, and another 5%, but no more than AMD 25,000, will be added by the government. The existing pay-as-you-go system essentially does not differentiate between pensioners’ employment histories.
Pension accumulation in compulsory way prompted backlash in the country. Protests are being staged in Yerevan permanently. The protesters demand that the government withdraw its decision or at least postpone its enforcement. They say that people don't want to entrust 5% of their salaries to the government’s care, since they are not sure they will get the money back.
Speaking about possible risks in transition to the compulsory accumulative pension system, Adibekyan said that there are such risks also in other countries, but they shouldn't bar the authorities from doing what they have decided.
Three opposition factions of the National Assembly of Armenia – Armenian National Congress, Revolutionary Federation /Dashnaktsutiun and Heritage – as well as Prosperous Armenia faction along with them filed a motion to the Constitutional Court on December 17 demanding adjournment of enforcement of the compulsory accumulative pension system. The court has to release its decision no later than in six months after acceptance of the motion. -0---