News on Iran Protests & DemonstrationsThe Unknown Fate of Iran’s Retirees

The Unknown Fate of Iran’s Retirees

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For weeks, the social security retirees of Iran have been protesting their bad living condition and lack of money and insurance. Social security retirees complain about the government’s delay in raising their pensions, but the question that many of them ask is, in principle, why should the increase in the pension of social security retirees depend on the government?

A retiree under the sponsorships of the Social Security Organization has generally paid 30 years of insurance premiums to this organization, and in principle, these premiums should be stored in the pension fund of this organization, and the pensions and pension increases of retirees that must be paid are also from the funds and investments accumulated in this fund.

A report prepared by the state-run daily Eghtesad Online on the status of the Social Security Organization’s pension fund shows that 70 percent of the resources of the Social Security Pension Fund are through premiums that it receives from individuals, and only 12 percent of its resources are provided from the income of investments. In other words, the fund is heavily dependent on the premiums it currently receives from insured workers, and the previous capitals and investments have not yielded much for the fund.

The finger of blame is pointing at the government
There are various analyses on the cause of this situation, but they all have one thing in common: By withdrawing the resources of the Social Security Fund, the government had the largest share in weakening the fund and did not pay its debts to the fund. On the other hand, part of the government’s debts to the Social Security Fund have been paid with the liquidation of loss-making state-owned companies, which has practically not benefited the fund.

Interestingly, the Social Security Fund, despite its unfavorable situation, still receives the least assistance from government sources, and according to the Eghtesad Online’s report, the State Pension Fund and the Steel Fund are in a much worse situation than Social Security Fund and provide most of their resources from the government’s assistance.

One of the government’s officials Mohammad Assadi from the General Department of Public Relations of the Social Security Organization said about the government’s delay and inaction providing the funds for the retirees:

“Last year’s resolution of the Islamic Parliament to transfer 32 trillion tomans of shares of state-owned companies to social security should be implemented so that this organization can provide desirable and needed services to the covered society with the support of reliable financial resources in addition to implementation.” (Jahani press, April 19, 2021)

He added: “This organization spends more than 15 trillion tomans a month this year, and in order to fulfill its obligations, in addition to receiving insurance premiums on time, which is the most important source of social security funding, it must also receive claims from the government through a precise and effective mechanism.” (Jahani press, April 19, 2021)

From these sentences it can be understood that the government is not just supporting the retirees but is stealing their money. And according to the cognition that we have from this regime, this capital is used for the regime’s malign activities like its nuclear and missile program and its meddling in the Middle East.

Although nationwide rallies have been held regularly and weekly for months by the retirees, the demands of retirees have not yet been met. The protesting retirees, in addition to increasing the level of pension to the level of the poverty line, which is now 10 million tomans, demand the repeal of Article 69 of Social Security, ‌ increase in their annual pensions and free medical treatment.

At their protests, they also chanted: “Officials, Give us back our rights”, “Expensiveness, inflation, the scourge of people’s lives.”

There are also slogans that the government fears the most like, “We will not vote anymore, because we heard so many lies.”

In recent months, social security retirees have been among those who have held regular weekly rallies to protest the lack of adequate pay. With the poverty line reaching nearly 10 million tomans, officials, including members of parliament, acknowledge the huge gap between workers and retirees’ incomes with the living expenses.

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