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Romanian private pension funds' assets reach EUR 1.33bn

The net assets under management by the Romanian private pension funds reached EUR 1.33bn at the end of April 2011, data published today by the CSSPP, the pensions watchdog, shows. In local currency, the net value of managed assets surpassed RON 5.43bn, this representing combined figures for both mandatory (2nd Pillar) and voluntary (3rd Pillar) pension funds. Continuare

OANCEA: Half of the mandatory funds' participants own less than EUR 130 in their personal accounts

The rather small contribution level and the low contribution density to the mandatory private pension funds (2nd Pillar) are the main reasons why half of the funds' participants currently have less than RON 500 (cca. EUR 130) in their personal accounts with the pension funds, said Mircea OANCEA, Chairman of the CSSPP, the pensions watchdog, talking at a pensions conference recently. The head of the pension markets' supervisory authority also re-stated his belief in the necessity to increase the contribution level faster than the system's initial plans, and also reschedule the contribution calendar to reach 8% instead of 6% in 2016. Continuare

XPRIMM's private pensions market awards 2011: And the winners are...

The fourth edition of the Private Pensions Market Awards Gala recently emphasized the outstanding market results of 2010, in the context of a year so difficult from both an economical and political perspective. PRIMM Magazine - Insurance & Pensions awards this year were designed to capitalize personal efforts, financial success as well as the ongoing struggle to financially educate the public. Continuare

CSSPP: Full disclosure of investment portfolios of pension funds, twice a year

The Council of the CSSPP, Romania's pensions watchdog, recently approved secondary legislation providing for full disclosure of the investment portfolios of all pension funds twice a year, with a lag of aprox. 3 months. All fund managers have already undergone the first step in this supplementary transparency exercise by publishing detailed investment information for the end of 2010 on their websites. Continuare

Proposal of full tax break for voluntary pensions waits for Parliament's decision

Romanian MPs have been discussing a law modifying the Fiscal Code during the last few weeks, but the debates were postponed because of domestic political matters. Among the hot issues of the proposed new fiscal regulations was one regarding the extension of tax deductions for contributions made to voluntary private pension funds (3rd Pillar), but this particular amendment is still under scrutiny by the deciding Commissions in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower chamber of the Parliament. The Romanian pensions industry has been supporting this amendment for quite some time now, and the proposal is also favored by the CSSPP, the private pensions' system watchdog. Continuare

Compared to the previous months, December brought an extra 10 million in the accounts of Pillar II participants

National House of Public Pensions transferred towards Pillar II pension funds, in February, for December as referral month, a total contribution volume of EUR 34.09 million, representing the most consistent sum out of all 2010 transfers. Most likely, it is the result of the end year bonuses that were included in the contribution's calculation base, thus the highest level of medium contributions for 2010, recorded in December LEI 43.76 per participant (approx. EUR 6.50 per participant). The number of participants whose accounts have been fed in December was kept in the ordinary note of the last months, 3.31 million people. Continuare

Guarantee Fund Act was passed by the Senate

The Senate adopted yesterday, 21st February, the Law on the Guarantee Fund in private pensions system. The new Law brings under regulation the establishment, organization and functioning of the Guarantee Fund for private pension\'s rights and is considering guaranteeing the rights acquired by the participants in the private pension system, in order to protect both the interests of participants and beneficiaries. The positive result of yesterday\'s vote (48 pro - 41 against, 1 holdback) pushes the project to the next legal phase, Deputies Chamber, with a real chance to browse around parliamentary procedure until June. Continuare

Mircea OANCEA: we need speed up contributions enlargement in spite of crossing tough times

"Ideal would be for the whole individual employee contribution to the social insurance budget (10.5% of the income) to go to private administration; not quite easy and there are important budgetary costs. We wish for a financing solution to be found, at a governmental level, in a long term respected program", stated Mircea OANCEA, President of the Private Pensions Supervisory Commission, in the opening of XPRIMM Annual Forecast Meeting - Private Pensions. Continuare

2010: A year with investment results that exceeded expectations

"It is safe to say that 2010 was a good year hence the real growth over the inflation for the participants. If we turn over to other European pensions market, it is obvious that very few pension funds got positive results. In this context, the yields obtained by the Romanian funds are very good", declared Mihai SEITAN, former Labor Minister, within the XPRIMM Annual Forecast - Private Pensions 2011. Continuare

A peek into the investment strategies of the Romanian pension funds

The Private Pensions Supervisory Commission (CSSPP) first published substantially detailed information on pension fund investments recently, revealing both the individual holdings, as well as exposure data on the issuers and maturities of investments made in fixed income instruments. Far from any surprise, the published statistics satisfies the curiosity of certain figures outside the system, revealing the pension funds' vision, as important institutional investors, on Romania's economic sectors, financial markets, inflation, as well as other matters regarding the macroeconomic outlook. Continuare

Occupational pensions under debate: pluses and minuses

Ministry of Labour has posted on its website, the law draft on occupational pensions. Enforcement of this law would enrich the content of the Pillar III private pension, bringing Romanian employees the opportunity to add an additional source of income at the retirement age. Besides its merits in expanding saving opportunities for retirement, the content of the project raises certain questions, the answer of which might strongly influence the willingness, both of the employers and the fund managers, to engage in the development of this new market segment. Continuare

The market in 2011 in the eyes of the private pension's actors

•    Legal stability
•    Increased system financing
•    Improved secondary legislation
•    Investment enhancing
•    Improve and increase communication with the public

Interview with Guillermo Arthur ERRAZURIZ, President of FIAP

The International Federation of Pension Funds Administrators (FIAP) brings together most associations of pension funds from the states with a multi-pillar pension system, providing global representation of their interests, as well as experience sharing, for the benefit of all its members. Present in Romania in order to invite APAPR, the Romanian association of the private pensions industry, to accede to FIAP, the President of the Federation, Guillermo Arthur ERRAZURIZ, gave PRIMM Insurance&Pensions magazine an exclusive interview. Continuare

The crisis melted down 9 billion Euros from the CEE pension funds

The first signs of the current financial crunch emerged in July 2007 on the subprime mortgage loans market in the United States of America. Meanwhile, the effects of the crisis became visible overseas as well and started to affect all financial markets, bringing the collapse of stock exchanges and causing losses of hundreds of billion Euros for large and small investors alike. As usual in times of crisis, risk appetite plunged, further worsening the precarious state of the world's stock exchanges. The private pension funds were not spared by the effects either: during the first year alone, the financial crunch caused losses in excess of 9 billion Euros for the private pension funds across Central and Eastern Europe. Continuare

Empty accounts only represent 13.4% of the mandatory private pensions system

The number of empty accounts (with no contributions) in the mandatory private pensions system (pillar II) is under 584,000, meaning 13.4% of the participants' quantum, after five rounds of collecting the contributions, according to an analysis made by portal portal. The empty accounts situation has improved in these last five months, the number of no contributions accounts declining from 961,000 in May, when they represented 23% of the total. Continuare

Employers pay for 71% of the voluntary private pensions funds' customers

Employers contribute for 71% of the 125,000 voluntary private pensions system's clients (pillar III), while individual customers contribute themselves in only 29% of the cases - a sign that the employers have already started including voluntary private pensions as a remuneration package benefit - the CSSPP (Romania's private pensions regulator) quarterly report has shown.
The Comission's data points out that 58% of the employers contribute alone to the voluntary private pensions, 13% contribute together with the employee and 29% of the individual clients contribute themselves. According to the statistics, the voluntary private pensions market is until now oriented on the corporate section, its importance growing continuously in the last six months.

Pillar III: Thinking of fiscal incentives

Romania's voluntary private pensions market (3rd pillar) has not matched expectations so far, despite the optimistic estimates at its start in June 2007. Until one month ago, only 121,000 participants started to save in the optional private pension system, and the accumulated assets barely exceeded 15 million Euros. For comparison, the estimates made when the market was launched indicated 250,000 participants and assets worth 30-40 million Euros for the end of 2007, but these forecasts seem remote so far, even for the end of 2008. But there is still room for hope on the market: the fiscal incentives for contributions in the voluntary pensions system could be increased from January 1st, and the voluntary pension plans could thus become more attractive. Continuare

Pillar II started the consolidation race

One year ago, the mandatory private pensions market (2nd pillar) did not exist. The pension companies had just started the chase for customers and the results at the end of the four months of initial signup campaign exceeded all expectations: over 4 million participants got into the system. Ever since, the mandatory pensions market developed quickly: it collected and started to invest the participants' money and, more recently, witnessed the first transaction between two pension companies. The first merger of funds is next, and the following year could bring a major reform of the system, defined by two terms: liberalization and modernization. Continuare

Interview with Crinu ANDANUT, PhD, Chairman of APAPR

Crinu ANDANUT, CEO of ALLIANZ-TIRIAC Private Pensions, is also the Chiarman of APAPR, the Romanian pension funds' association. Find out his vision of the Romanian private pensions market in this interview:...

Interview with Mircea OANCEA, Chairman of CSSPP

A year after the start of the mandatory private pensions system (2nd pillar) and very close to the first official announcement of the returns reached by voluntary pension funds (3rd pillar), the Romanian private pensions market is still in the middle of a consolidation process. About required changes, perspectives, future plans, in an interview with Mircea OANCEA, Chairman of CSSPP - Romania's private pensions supervisory authority.

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Mandatory pensions
(2nd pillar):
»Brief system design

»Official law

»Statistics & Market data

»Market players

»Pension funds

Voluntary pensions
(3rd pillar):
»Brief system design

»Official law

»Statistics & Market data

»Market players

»Pension funds

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» Romania's pensions journey: beginning of the road

» Comparison between the 2nd and 3rd pillar

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