ITALY – Both closed and open supplementary pension funds provided positive returns of two percent and above by the end of the first half of 2003 according to COVIP, the Italian pension fund supervisory authority.

Open funds, those not restricted to sector/industry/regional workers, returned two percent, with all asset classes producing similar returns. By the end of June open funds had 350,000 members, including the 13,000 new members that joined in January.

Closed funds, to which there are around one million subscribers, returned 2.3%. Four new closed funds were authorised by COVIP in the first half of the year – PRIAMO, for tram workers; FOPADIVA, for workers in the Valle d’Aosta region; EDILPRE, for builders; and FONDOPOSTE, the fund for non-managerial employees of the national post system.

Around 2.5 million workers in Italy are now saving in supplementary pension schemes, says COVIP. Around 1.4 million are contributing to newly created schemes – this is a 3.5% increase since last June. Almost half a million are contributing to personal plans, and just less than 700,000 are contributing to original funds.

COVIP estimates total savings in pension funds to amount to 35 billion euros.