Armenian young scholars protest against mandatory funded pension system
Several dozens of young researchers at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Armenia, who are protesting the new pension plan in the country, assembled in front of the NAS building on March 17, news.am website reported.
They wrote a letter addressed to NAS President Radik Martirosyan, in which they express their disagreement with the decision to deduct the mandatory pension payments from their salaries, demand from Martirosyan to appeal this matter to the relevant bodies, and also warn that the young scholars are ready to defend their rights and freedoms.
The young scholars handed the letter to the NAS Letters' Section.
Radik Martirosyan, on the other hand, received only the journalists present, and said that nothing is dependent on NAS, and if there is a law, everyone shall obey it.
The young scholars also walked toward the Constitutional Court building, where they would hand a similar letter expressing their concerns over this new law.
Young researcher at the Institute of Informatics, Sergey Abrahamyan told news.am that deductions from wages for January were not made. Deductions were made only from salaries for February, which means pressure on the leadership of the NAS by the state.
The new funded pension plan, which formally came into force in Armenia on January 1, 2014, is mandatory for those born in and after 1974 and voluntary for those born before 1974. In line with this plan, 5 to 10 percent of the monthly salaries in Armenia will be deducted and mandatorily be allocated to cumulative pension funds; the latter will be reimbursed as pensions once a person turns 63 years old.
On Jan. 24, however, the Constitutional Court decided to suspend the execution of some components in the Law on Funded Pensions pending the hearing on March 28 of the petition submitted by the four non-ruling-coalition parliamentary forces -the Armenian National Congress, Prosperous Armenia, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, and Heritage -into the constitutionality of several articles of the law.
Regardless, some employers already are deducting the mandatory pension payment from the salaries of their employees.
Mandatory component of the pension reform angered Armenian society. The protesters against the law which are the political parties and public organizations do not believe that the allocated amount of money to the pension funds in the mandatory form will provide descent pension for them and urge the authorities to abandon the idea.
Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N.