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ARMENIANS AGAINST MANDATORY FUNDED PENSION SYSTEM

Gayan Simonian

Monthly salaries of citizens born in and after 1974 will be deducted from 5 to 10 percent. The amount will be allocated to cumulative pension funds with a promise to later be reimbursed to the person once he/she turns 63 and becomes a pensioner.

Thousands of people (most popular age group being 25-34) joined Civic Initiative “I’m against” to protest against this system, and started organizing rallies in the capital and other cities and regions of Armenia. They demonstrated that majority of the population is against this system, and the government needs to reconsider the initiative.

The biggest turnout-rally by “I’m against” Civic Initiative was held on March 22 at the Liberty Square, Yerevan. According to the organizers, approximately 10-12 thousand people mainly from Yerevan took part in the rally. Activists gathered at the square were complaining about the fact that their salaries were automatically stored without asking them- against their will.

“Anyway the salaries are very low and it’s not a secret. We can hardly live with minimum salary range of 45.000 AMD as everything is so expensive. They are increasing the cost of goods and products in Armenia but decreasing the salaries. Now when 5 % is stored monthly, nothing’s left for living,” said 32 years old protester.

On this issue, 4 factions/ forces of National Assembly - the Armenian National Congress, Prosperous Armenia, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutyun, and Heritage party-applied to the Constitutional Court demanding a series of articles of the Law to be recognized unconstitutional.

“I’m against” movement team announced that the Constitutional Court will start the case on March 28 and it may last up to 3 months. March 28 will be the first date of trial of the issue, which means that they are moving a step forward to a new stage of struggle.
After the turnout-rally “I’m against” movement members urged the citizens and political parties to take part in the march to protect their rights and Armenian constitution.

They are moving forward with the slogan “Fight for your rights and build a legal country”.