ITALY - PensPlan, the pension services provider of the semi-autonomous Trentino Alto Adige region in northern Italy, saw registrations increase by 39% following Italian ‘TFR' reforms in 2007.

Last year's take-up rate contrasts that of Italian registrations as a whole, which stand at 13.5% in 2007, added the organisation.

PensPlan hailed the result, despite acknowledging meagre returns: the company's biggest fund, the €451m regional scheme for workers in Trentino South Tyrol (Laborfond), saw returns of 0.16% in 2007.

Together with Laborfond, the company said it plans to launch new strategies for wider diversification of the invested assets.

The organisation said it had booked a profit of €2m in the last year, and pointed at a five-year return of 4.3%.

The Italian pension fund regulator Covip announced last September subscriptions to the Italian second pillar doubled to 2.7 million accounts in the first half of this year.
These increases follow Italian reform which gave employees the choice between transferring their severance payments to a private pension fund, or keeping it with their company.

The severance payments, the 'so-called' TFR, would fall into pension funds unless employees specifically chose to state their money should not go into the second pillar.

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