Armenia’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Resigns amid Mandatory Pension System Controversy

Mane Tandilyan

YEREVAN—Less than a month after being officially sworn in as Armenia’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mane Tandilyan resigned from her post on Tuesday in opposition of Prime Minsiter Nikol Pashinyan’s decision to go ahead with unpopular reforms to the country’s pension system.

Pashinyan’s government decided on Monday that the new pension system introduced by the previous government, which would require citizens born after 1973 to finance a large part of their future pensions through additional tax payments, would be adopted. The new pension system will become mandatory for all citizens aged 44 and younger next month.

Tandilyan had been outspoken against the previous government’s decision and cited the new government’s decision to go ahead with the plan when she announced her resignation on Facebook.

“After long discussions, it became obvious that my proposal is not supported by the government,” she wrote. She also argued that the new pension system is opposed by most Armenian citizens.

Minister for Economic Development Artsvik Minasyan of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)—a party currently in a power-sharing deal with the new government—opposed the bill during a cabinet meeting in Yerevan, which led to an open dispute between him and Prime Minister Pashinyan.

“I am against this mandatory pension system. I realize that today’s solution is a forced one,” Minasyan told Pashinyan during the June 11 cabinet meeting. Pashinyan responded by saying that all ministers must share “collective responsibility” for government decisions. Minasyan then assured Pashinyan that he will comply with any decision approved by fellow ministers, even though he and his party did not agree with the pension proposal.


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