ISRAEL - Israel won't provide a "safety net" for pension savings eroded by the global financial crisis, the country's chief markets regulator said, rejecting a demand from the Histadrut labor union.
Pension funds in western countries have posted an average loss of 22%, and no one in these countries is demanding government intervention, Antebi said.
"No one knows what the safety net would consist of, or how much it would cost," he said. "We are in the midst of a global crisis, which affects the wealth of economies, and the wealth of individuals. There is no hocus-pocus that can solve such global problems."
Histadrut asked the government on 17 November to provide an immediate safety net for pension savings and long-term investment plans. Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini said today that the federation leadership will meet on 25 November to decide whether to declare a labour dispute over the issue, which could lead to a general strike two weeks after that.
"Our proposals to the Finance Ministry regarding the safety net are realistic," Eini said in an e-mailed statement. "We are proposing a model that during the first three years won't cost the government anything."
The Finance Ministry has asked attorney general Menachem Mazuz to review a proposal to set up a limited safety net for pensions, even as ministry officials continue to oppose the plan, Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported on its website today.
The ministry is required by law to pass on all economic programs under discussion to the attorney general during the period before elections, scheduled for February, so that he can rule whether the plan involves "election economics," Yediot Ahronot said. Ministry officials are hoping that Mazuz will nix the plan, the website said.
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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