CZECH REPUBLIC - The Czech third pillar fund of Allianz posted an increase in members, assets under management and profit for the first half of 2009.

In the first six months assets under management increased to CZK7.3bn (€283m) from CZK6.7bn at year-end 2008.

This increase was mainly down to 10,000 new contracts, which increased the member base to 133,000.

Allianz said in a statement that the new members were both completely new to the market as well as those who had switched funds.

The new fee introduced when changing a pension fund before the end of a five-year period is no obstacle to people switching to a fund of their choice, Allianz believes. (see earlier IPE article: Czechs given open pensions choice).

“Temporary marketing campaigns and various forms of bonuses are not the criteria by which people choose a fund but the long-term financial stability of the fund,” said Petr Poncar, head of the Allianz Pensionskasse.

Allianz also said the fund had enough capital to be prepared for possible changes to the capital requirements mulled by the National Bank. (see earlier IPE-article: Czech funds survive stress test, for now).

Profit for the first six months was CZK119m compared to CZK220m for the whole of 2008.