Turkmenistan: entrepreneurs must now pay to pension fund

ASHGABAT (TCA) — As Turkmenistan suffers from decreasing state-budget revenues largely caused by low natural-gas prices and a drop in gas exports, contributions to the Pension Fund, which had previously been voluntary, have become mandatory for entrepreneurs starting from 1 January 2018, the Chronicles of Turkmenistan independent foreign-based news website reports.

Correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan report that entrepreneurs have been forced to make contributions not from the start of the year but retroactively – from 2013 onward.

Depending on the revenues indicated in a tax statement, business owners are obliged to pay 5,000 to 20,000 manats for the 5 previous years.

In May 2017 Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported that the Pension Fund demanded that monthly contributions be made by those who are on the payroll of privately-owned businesses even if a company was “in the standby mode” during this period, i.e. there were no business operations and, consequently, no revenues.

The Chronicles of Turkmenistan also reports that a maximum of $3,000 can now be taken out of the country and amounts exceeding $500 need to be indicated in the customs declaration.

Before the new requirement was introduced, the previous maximum amount allowed out of the country was $10,000. As before, amounts up to $10,000 can be imported into the country.

Restrictions to export foreign currency have allegedly been imposed as people are engaged in transporting cash to students studying abroad from their parents and relatives back in Turkmenistan.

There are no official announcements on the restrictions but passengers exiting the country are required to inform customs officers of the amounts of cash they are carrying.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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