Prioritized objectives of the new phase of pension reforms in Azerbaijan were the focus of discussions at the business forum organised by the Caspian European Club on February 18 with participation of Elman Mehdiyev, Chairman of the State Social Protection Fund.
Addressing the business forum, Chairman of the State Social Protection Fund Elman Mehdiyev expressed gratitude to the Caspian European Club for the organised meeting. According to him, such forums within the Caspian European Club help to establish closer cooperation between government agencies and the private sector, which fosters development of the national economy as a whole. At the beginning of the meeting Elman Mehdiyev spoke in detail about the activity of the State Social Protection Fund of Azerbaijan. The meeting focused on reforms in the pension provision as well as issues of interest of the Caspian European Club member companies. In his speech Elman Mehdiyev emphasized the social and economic policy had been successfully implemented in the country in recent years under the leadership of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and reforms had been carried out at fast pace. In his words, once established in Azerbaijan the social and pension system, associated with social insurance payments and based on the uniform principles covering the entire working population and promptly reacting at modern challenges, has enabled to address all important issues faced by pension systems in the international practice. Priority aspects of the new stage of pension reforms were set by the Executive Order of President Ilham Aliyev ‘The Concept of reforming the pension provision system in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2014-2020’. As part of the Concept, a particular focus is on organization of public hearings by the State Social Protection Fund with its social partners. To that end the special coordination commission works within the State Social Protection Fund. Elman Mehdiyev spoke in detail about the Action Plan of the Concept. He said the pension system is subject to such reforms as deepening of social insurance principles, optimization of requirements to mandatory state social insurance contributions, setting terms of voluntary insurance payments. According to Elman Mehdiyev, such meetings contribute to effective cooperation between the Fund and insurers. Elman Mehdiyev told the forum participants the reporting on mandatory state social insurance contributions is completely automated. Also provided at the business forum was the information on works performed to cut the total amount of reporting forms for insurers. In particular, appropriate measures are now taken to tie two different reporting forms into a uniform quarterly report in order to simplify the reporting system. Thus, on the one hand innovations will facilitate the process of submitting reports for insurers and reduce the amount of reporting forms. On the other hand, they help ensure expeditious public supervision over employers through information on individual records quarterly obtained by citizens. Discussed during the meeting were the proposals of business forum participants on this subject as well as issues of interest of the Caspian European Club member companies. Speaking at the business forum, CEO of the Caspian European Club Telman Aliyev thanked Elman Mehdiyev for a constructive dialogue and attention to the offers and requests stated by member companies of the Caspian European Club. He said the Caspian European Club was established in June 2002 with active participation of Caspian Energy International Media Group and under support of the largest oil and gas companies working in the Caspian and Black Sea region. His Excellency President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is the Chairman of the Caspian European Club. According to Telman Aliyev, the Caspian European Club has promoted attraction of oil sector revenues into development of the non-oil sector since its establishment. Caspian European Club, which brings together over 5,000 member companies and organisation, is operating in 50 countries around the world, carrying out an active work to maintain the dialogue between government agencies and the private sector. The Chairman of the State Social Protection Fun of the Republic of Azerbaijan Azerbaijani, Elman Mehdiyev was handed the Honourary Membership Certificate of the Caspian European Club. Certificates were also handed to new member companies of the Caspian European Club. Participating in the business forum of the Caspian European Club were heads of companies and representatives of some diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan.