ITALY - The speaker for Italian members of Parliament Gianfranco Fini has called for the creation of a pension safety net for corporate and multiemployer schemes to encourage membership into second pillar pensions.
Speaking at the annual parliamentary hearing of national insurance body INPS, Fini said this was needed for the development of an adequate supplementary pension system, which he defined as a "strategic priority" for the country.
He said: "A system of guarantees on pensions' investments could maximise the development of the second pillar system."
Fini's proposal echoes existing safety nets for pension funds of companies which go bust, such as the Pension Protection Fund in the UK and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in the US.
Latest data by pension watchdog Covip show the members of second pillar plans are around 5 million people, which represent only 20% of the eligible population.
Fini added: "I believe that without a public guarantee system, people have not adhered to second pillar pensions. They are worried about the risks related to the increasing weight money managers and insurance companies have in the investment of their retirement savings."
He also said solutions need to be found to avert the risk that the pension replacement rate will be a mere 43% for those who are self-employed and 58% for employees by 2035.
Welfare minister Maurizio Sacconi said he agreed with Fini on the creation of such a fund. However, he said the fund "could be encouraged and supported by the state but it should be financed by second pillar schemes".
The Centre for Social Justice is calling for the state pension age to be raised to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2035, a much faster rise than currently planned.
The High Court has blocked the £12bn transfer of Prudential's annuity book to Rothesay Life, citing the insurer's lack of "established reputation" and differing "capital management policies".
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