ITALY - The Italian government has restricted the power of pension regulator COVIP and transferred its duties to two other entities "in the name of liberalisation".
The government claimed the duties for monitoring pension funds would be split between Banca d’Italia, the Italian central bank and Consob, the commission overseeing the stock market.
The decision has raised alarm bells in some corners, as COVIP was not only the pensions watchdog but also duty-bound to support the launch of the complementary pensions sector, introduced on 1 January 2007.
Labour minister Cesare Damiano had been strongly opposed to the power of COVIP being reduced, however, the decision was passed through the council of ministers and is now pending legislation by the government.
The change in duties is due to take place within a year.
COVIP said it was “alarmed” by the announcement and claimed its legitimacy was being undermined.
The regulator claimed that by transferring duties onto the two other entities, the pension funds would be considered as simple investment funds, thus leaving workers without guidance on pension issues.
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