'The interim law on Funded Pension does not ensure the restoration of constitutional order. What we have is a littleprogresswith regard to submitting written requests.' The members of D!emem civil initiative voiced their viewpoints on the new bill at the Media Center hosted press conference.
The speakers included members of D!em em civil initiative Davit Khazhakyan, Lusine Vatyan and Tigran Martirosyan.
On May 15 the National Assembly passed at the second reading the Bill on Introducing Amendments and Additions to the RA Law on 'Funded Pension' with 67 votes in favor, 18 against and 29 abstentions. The given amendment enables employees to inform the employers about their withdrawal from the pension system in writing.
Davit Khazhakyan, member of D!em em civil initiative, considered the provision on written requests illogical since the requests, in his opinion, should be submitted by those who want to be enrolled in the pension system and not by the ones who want to withdrawrequired by the present bill. The Government strives to solve the issue of refunding only and promote a failed project, employing a mechanism already acknowledged as anti-constitutional by the Constitution Court.
'The new law is an achievement of the civic movement. However, this law is only one instance of success and the struggle must go on. Pressure may be exerted on the state sector employees to the extent that the employers may refuse to take their withdrawal requests or deliver threats. Thus, it is essential to be consistent and raise public awareness,’ noted Davit Khazhakyan.
Addressing the issue of the requests already written and sent by citizens to withdraw from the pension system, Tigran Martirosyan, member of D!em em civil initiative, noted that the procedure was their initiative enabling the citizens to express their will. Meanwhile, the adopted law requires new written requests irrespective of the previously sent requests.
Lusine Vatyan, member of D!em em civil initiative urged the employers not to exert pressure on employees allowing them to express their will. She also warned that the initiative will make sure that employer pressure cases are made public.
To avoid possible employer pressure and similar problems Davit Khazhakyan advised citizens to demand a receipt upon submitting the request or send it by post.
Tigran Martirosyan believes thatdue to the obligations towards international organizations asthe current Government seeks to put into effect this system, subsequently maintaining the activities of its predecessor.
With respect to the Government offer to become a member of the working groupLusineVatyan said, ‘We are not lawmakers. We will state our viewpoint on the law by voicingthe keyprinciples generated through public discussions'.
After the law is enacted, D!em em civil initiative plans to develop and make public a new request template to be sent to employers. In the meantime, the initiative members are willing to continue the awareness raising campaign and similar acts calling for action and consistency.