Home / Video / Constitutional Court Adjourns Case Against Pension Reform

Constitutional Court Adjourns Case Against Pension Reform

The Constitutional Court in Armenia, which on Friday begun examination of the constitutionality of certain provisions of an unpopular pension reform, adjourned its session today and moved to the consultation room in order to issue a ruling on the case.

Recall, four non-ruling parliamentary parties — Armenian National Congress, Prosperous Armenia Party, Heritage Party, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) — are disputing several provisions of the new law that came into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, "amid protests from mostly young professionals in high-paying jobs considering it unfair and unconstitutional."

In court today, Constitutional Court President Gagik Harutyunyan declared that a lot of time will be needed to examine all of the materials. "It wouldn't even be serious if I said that we would manage to finish this all when the decision is ready — we will inform [you] beforehand of the day it will be made public. In any case, it won't be today," he summed up.

After recess, the applicant and respondent parties made closing speeches. One of the applicants, Dashnaktsutyun MP Artsvik Minasyan, expressed concern over the behavior of state bodies regarding the law.

Minasyan stressed that the mandatory component of the law contributes to an increase in the demographic crisis facing the country. "We tell citizens: when you stop being a citizen of the Republic of Armenia and you leave the country, then you will be able to have command over your accumulated funds. Or when we tell working mothers, when you have a child and go on maternity leave, no payment will be made to them. These are provisions that cause demographic threats," he said.

Recall, according to the new law, employed citizens in Armenia born after 1973 are required to pay 5–10% of their monthly wages to one of two private pension funds set by the government. They will be able to access these funds when they turn 63 (the age of retirement in Armenia). The new law, however, has sparked regular protests mainly organized by a civic initiative called Dem Am ("I am against") and its supporters.