ITALY - Pension watchdog COVIP has intensified its supervisory activity after negative investment results were posted by the majority of Italian schemes.
In particular, it said the evaluation would involve risk-monitoring, risk-management, investment and cost policies.
COVIP has also proposed the creation of a mechanism to guarantee the severance payment accumulated by Italian workers which could be invested in pension funds (TFR), for plan members who had retired or would retire after 31 August 2008.
Such a proposal - currently being examined by the Ministry of Labour - would cover retirees for a year and would involve between 10,000 to 20,000 members, COVIP said.
Meanwhile, the supervisory authority reiterated workers who had met the requirements to retire or had started to receive mandatory pension payments could delay their exit from the complementary pension scheme.
In addition, COVIP said it urged pension schemes to communicate to members they were entitled to such delay.
Data from the watchdog showed Italian contractual and open pension funds returns declined on average by 8% from the beginning of 2008 until the end of October.
The authority, while acknowledging the general situation was far from being satisfactory, urged scheme members to concentrate more on the long-term horizons of investments and to make rational choices, not dictated by "an understandable panic".
Standard Life has increased exposure to risk assets in three out of five funds in its Active Plus and Passive Plus workplace pension ranges.
Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon.
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