USAID continues support to pension reform implementation in Armenia

USAID officially launched the Pension Reform Implementation Program (PRIP) at a ceremony held on September 11, 2013 in Yerevan. The goal of the four-year program is to assist the Armenian Government to build its human and institutional capacity to ensure the successful roll-out of the new pension system. The program will support the broader goal of providing old-age income security in an environment that is fiscally sound and sustainable. The program will also support Armenia’s strategic plan to reduce poverty, strengthen the social services institutions, and empower Armenian citizens to exercise their social protection rights and responsibilities.

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia, Artem Asatryan, USAID/Armenia Mission Director Karen Hilliard, and Senior Vice President of Chemonics International (PRIP implementing partner) Terri Kristalsky delivered opening remarks at the event, which was attended by representatives of partner organizations, including the World Bank, UNICEF, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Armenia, financial institutions, and social services agencies. The event informed key stakeholders about the program’s objectives, as well as the challenges and benefits of Armenia’s new multi-pillar pension system that will come into force in January 2014.

Over the coming years, PRIP will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and relevant institutions to ensure that the pension system – asa component of Armenia’s integrated social services system – is managed according to international standards and best practices.The project will also help increase civic engagement to ensure that users and beneficiaries of the social services system receive needed care and services in a timely and efficient manner.

PRIP builds on the accomplishments of the USAID Pension and Labor Market (PALM) project (2009-2012), which provided critical support to the Government of Armenia to build the foundation for the multi-pillar pension system, including drafting regulations, creating information systems, and initiating public awareness campaigns.

The new pension system will provide each citizen of Armenia with the possibility to improve his/her financial security in old age by diversifying his/her sources of income, including retirement savings in a private pension fund – a concept that is new to Armenia.

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