YEREVAN, March 7. / ARKA /. Several hundreds young Armenians who protested earlier today outside the finance ministry building in Yerevan against a new pension scheme have marched to the police headquarters demanding that police release six activists detained earlier.
Deputy Yerevan police chief Valery Osipyan told the protesters that the six young people were detained for breaching public order. The protest is organized by activists of an initiative group called "Dem em"
Armenia’s Constitutional Court suspended last month Article 76 of the new pension 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.
The new pension system that formally came into force from January 1 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.
One of them is a joint venture between Austria’s C-QUADRAT Investment and Germany’s Talanx Asset Management. The other, Amundi-ACBA, is a subsidiary of the French banks Credit Agricole and Societe Generale. Armenian officials expect the two asset managers to attract between $100 million and $150 million in pension contributions this year alone. -0-