Pension Row: Pressure group urges employers not to comply with law until CC ruling

A local civil initiative group campaigning against the introduction of a controversial pension law has urged employers in Armenia not to become part of an ‘illegal deal’ by complying with legal provisions that the Constitutional Court (CC) decided last week would temporarily not trigger sanctions if not fulfilled.

Considering the fact that four minority factions in the National Assembly have challenged the constitutionality of the law, under which all citizens of Armenia aged below 40 must pay an additional five percent of their salaries to privately owned pension funds, the Constitutional Court decided on January 24 that the penalty stipulated by the mandatory provision shall not be applied at least until March 28, when the verdict on the application is due.

Media reports in recent days, however, have alleged that considering the fact that the law itself remains valid, some employers, under various pretexts and apparently under pressure from tax bodies, have forced their workers to get involved in the process immediately. Some employers have also reportedly raised salaries for their workers to offset their losses to be incurred due to the application of the law and are now willing to engage in the system without delay.

In this view the group, Dem.am (I’m Against), urges employers to refrain from complying with the law and not to transfer five percent of their workers’ salaries to pension funds.

“We believe that many employers today need support of their employees and employees are ready to stand by their employers,” the statement published on the group’s website says, in part. “Don’t be part of an illegal deal that has been denounced by thousands of citizens, as well as the Ombudsman, the Chamber of Advocates, human rights NGOs, four factions of the National Assembly.”