The Czech Republic is planning a second pillar pension reform on the Polish model which will see a proportion of money from the first pillar PAYG system moved to a second pillar funded system.

According to Dagmar Zelenková, an official at the details of legislation are still being considered by the government but a structure is emerging.

It has been decided that a new dedicated body will be set up to administer the scheme but it is not clear who will manage the assets.

However management companies from the existing third pillar have not been excluded from government thinking.

Initial plans are for participation to be mandatory for employees under 40, and voluntary for employees aged 40 to 50.

Zelenková says: These ages are up for discussion, and we don't yet know the method of transmission. But we are now working on these problems and preparing models."

Looking at the financial implications, she added: "We need to balance contributions with benefits. It seems that the state must give a big sum for starting this scheme."

She also said the government was wary of company-based occupational schemes because it was felt that this could overburden management still adapting to the free market.

"Our group of employers is not stable. We don't want to connect a long term obligation like a pension to them," she added.

Some companies have pension schemes under the third pillar, but these schemes must be open to non-employees and so is not a company provided scheme in the usual sense of the term. John Lappin"