Activists stage protest at int’l forum in Yerevan discussing pension matters

Activists campaigning against the enforcement of a controversial pension reform on Friday tried to disrupt an international forum in Yerevan discussing pension-related matters.

A group of them representing the Dem.am initiative reportedly staged a protest within the premises of the forum taking place at Elit Plaza in central Yerevan.

Earlier, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan addressed the forum, again defending the law on mandatory pension contributions that has caused widespread protests in Armenia in recent months.

Under the law that became effective on January 1 all working citizens born after 1973 must pay an additional five percent of their salaries to privately owned pension funds. But Armenia’s leading opposition parties challenged the legality of the law at the Constitutional Court.

On January 24, the Constitutional Court suspended the provisions of the law envisaging sanctions for not complying with it at least until March 28 when it is due to proceed with consideration of the matter.

Government agencies, however, have continued to force employers to make deductions from the salaries of their employees in favor of the funds, which activists and non-government political forces insist is contempt of the Court’s decision.