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YEREVAN. – There was a tense situation on Thursday, nearby the State Revenue Committee (SRC) building in capital city Yerevan, at the “I am against” civil movement’s “conquest of rights” march against the mandatory cumulative pensions in Armenia.     

The police did not allow the participants in the march to approach the SRC building. But several demonstrators managed to approach the building and attach the “I am against” movement’s information stickers on the doors of the building.  The police officers, however, stripped the stickers off the doors. 

Subsequently, the protesters passed through the police wall and approached the SRC building. There was an ensuing clash between the demonstrators and the police officers, who forcibly pushed the protesters back. The situation was tense for a moment, but it quickly subsided.            

Now, the participants in the march are walking toward the Municipality of Yerevan, where they plan to end their march. A large number of police officers are already standing in front of the city hall building, the Armenian News-NEWS.am reporter informs.   

Unlike the previous demonstrations, however, representatives from the four non-ruling-coalition parliamentary forces are not taking part in this march. Solely opposition Heritage Party Chairman, ex-presidential candidate, and former FM, Raffi Hovannisian has joined this demonstration.  

The new cumulative 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 January 24, however, the Constitutional Court decided to suspend the execution of the some components of the Law on Cumulative Pensions pending the hearing of the petition submitted by the four non-ruling-coalition parliamentary forces—specifically, the Armenian National Congress, Prosperous Armenia, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, and Heritage—, and into the constitutionality of the several articles of the law.

Notwithstanding this, some companies already are deducing the mandatory pension payment from the salaries of their employees.

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