France’s collective occupational retirement savings plans (PERCOs) registered “encouraging” growth in 2015, with a new law passed last year pointing to further positive development, although more needs to be done to encourage long-term saving, according to the French asset management association (AFG).

Gross inflows toward PERCOs* surpassed €2bn for the first time, with assets under management reaching €12.2bn to mark annual growth of 18%.

The PERCO figures “remain very encouraging”, said AFG, describing the schemes as “an excellent means for employees to supplement basic and supplementary retirement regimes”.

It welcomed new workplace savings measures contained in last year’s law on economic growth and activity, known as the Macron law (loi Macron), after the French economy minister Emmanuel Macron.

These represent encouraging signs for the development and simplification of workplace saving, in particular with respect to the PERCO product, the association said.

But more needs to be done, as it “encourages lawmakers to continue to give positive signals for long-term savings in 2016” AFG said.

Assets under management under the PERCO schemes, at €12.2bn, represent about 10% of total workplace savings assets, which reached €117.5bn at the end of December 2015, an increase of 7% on the previous year.

AFG attributed this development to favourable market developments in 2015.

Sixty-one percent of these assets are in balanced funds, with the rest in employee share-ownership funds (€45.9bn).

Nearly 31% of savings in balanced funds is in socially responsible investment funds, which grew by 14.5% in assets under management.

Social impact funds (fonds solidaires) had €5.2bn in assets under management at the end of 2015, an increase of €1.1bn (27%).

*Plan d’épargne pour la retraite collectif