Libertarian detractors of the US' Social-Security program might well be feeling envious right now: Armenia's Constitutional Court has deemed unconstitutional the obligatory deduction of funds from workers' salaries for a government-run pension fund.
In its April 2 ruling, the Court found that a proposed five-percent monthly deduction violated Armenians' constitutional right to property and right to decide for themselves how to make use of that property, news outlets reported.
Hundreds of Armenians have taken to streets in recent months over the plan, formulated with advice from the US government.
But these protesters are not bespectacled wonks. The debate has become one of this poverty-stricken country's hottest and prickliest issues; as much about trust in the government as in the strength of its investment skills.
For its part, the government, though expressing some surprise at the decision, has indicated they will swallow this pill quietly, review the Court's ruling and make changes to the plan by September 30.
Opposition members have hailed the decision -- Armenia's court system is not generally celebrated for its independence from government influence -- but cautiously so. Further challenges could lie ahead, they reason.
For that reason, don't expect this hot political potato to cool off anytime soon. The country's four main opposition parties (The Armenian National Congress, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Heritage Party and Prosperous Armenia) have agreed to pony up for an April 28 vote of no-confidence in the government and a round of non-stop rallies to coincide with the vote.
Look for pension reform to keep things chugging along.