Italian industry-wide pension funds (fondi negoziali) have returned -8.3% in the first six months of this year, net of management costs and tax. The pension funds were hit by the fall in prices in investment markets and by the rise in interest rates, which in turn led to a decline in the prices of bonds, according to figures published by the country’s pension regulator Commissione Vigilanza sui Fondi Pensione (COVIP).

Among Italian complementary pension funds, open pension funds (fondi pensione aperti) also posted negative returns (-9.7%), unit-linked individual pension plans (PIP di ramo III) returned -10.3%, while PIP di ramo I, which do not record assets at market value and whose returns depend on coupons held on securities, returned 0.5%.

Average annual returns remained positive at 3.1% for the fondi negoziali. The figure was 3.4% for open pension funds, 3.7% for the PIP III and 2.1% for PIPs ramo I by adding the first six months of 2022 to the last 10 years.

The revaluation of severance pay – Trattamento di Fine Rapporto (TFR) – in the same period was 2.2%.

Assets in complementary schemes fell by €5.6bn in H1 to €207bn as a result of market volatility.

Net assets totalled €63bn in industry-wide pension funds, €27bn in open pension funds and €43.7bn in ‘new’ PIPs, the regulator said.

Contributions received by industry-wide funds, open pension funds and new PIPs amounted to €6.2bn in H1, up €266m or 4.5% compared with the same period last year, it added.

The number of contracts in supplementary pension schemes reached 10m at the end of June this year, an increase of 280,000 or 2.9% compared with the end of last year, also including savers that have signed up for different forms of complementary pensions.

The number of members in complementary pension schemes therefore was close to 9m at the end of the first six months of the year, COVIP explained.

Industry-wide pension funds have added 194,000 contracts, amounting to a 5.6% increase in H1, for a total of 3.65m members at the end of June.

The increase in the number of members of industry-wide funds was also the result of the so-called tacit consent (silenzio-assenso), a mechanism for employees in public institutions hired after 1 January 2019, who joined Fondo Perseo Sirio, the pension fund for workers in the public administration, without explicitly deciding to allocate the TFR to the pension fund.

Open pension funds added 53,000 contracts ( an increase of 3% compared with the end of 2021) and contracts in new PIPs increased by 24,000, an rise of 0.7% compared with the end of last last year, according to COVIP.

The number of contracts at pre-reform funds (fondi pre-esistenti) grew by 1.5% in H1, from 648,370 at the end of 2021 to 658,000 at the end of June.

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