The Armenian government formalized on Thursday a roughly 10 percent increase in pensions which will take effect next month.
The average monthly amount of pensions paid to some 497,000 Armenians aged 65 and older currently stands at approximately 41,000 drams ($86). Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian announced plans to raise it after his government approved a three-year spending plan in July.
“Under the government program, state pensions will be periodically raised to ensure that their average amount grows faster than consumer prices,” Labor and Social Affairs Minister Zaruhi Batoyan said during a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.
Nearly 18,000 pensioners received a minimum pension of as little as 16,000 drams per month until it was raised to 25,500 drams in March 2019. They will get 27,000 drams starting next month.
The government also approved on Thursday increases in some of the benefits paid to other socially vulnerable categories of the population. In particular, it raised from 80,000 drams to 90,000 drams monthly payments to children having no parents.
Last month the government also pushed through the Armenia parliament a bill envisaging a more than 23 percent increase in the national minimum wage which will be set at 68,000 drams ($143). According to government officials, the measure, effective from January 1, will benefit at least 80,000 people mostly working for private firms.
The government’s overall social spending is projected to rise by 10 percent, to 489 billion drams, next year. Armenia’s 2020 state budget calls for a total of 1.88 trillion drams (almost $4 billion) in government expenditures.