Inarcassa, the pension fund for self-employed engineers and architects in Italy, achieved a gross return on assets at the end of 2020 of 2.5% – below its 3% target set at the beginning of last year, according to its financial statement.

The pension fund allocated €285m to private equity and private debt funds in Italy and abroad in 2020.

Specifically, 35% of new investments was made in Italy, including €60m in private equity funds, €20m in venture capital funds, € 10m in a Market for Investment Vehicles (MIV) fund that invests in Italian SMEs, and €10m in a co-investment transaction in an Italian company.

The remaining 65% was allocated to foreign infrastructure debt funds (€40m) and to private equity (€145m). Within the alternative universe, Inarcassa had a 30% exposure to infrastructure (equity and debt), 43% to private equity, 14% to private debt and 13% of direct investments.

Inarcassa allocated 43.3% of its assets to domestic markets including bonds (9.2%), equities (6.3%), investments in the real economy (5.8%), cash (8.3%) and real estate (13.7%), while 56.7% was allocated globally.

It has invested €701m in the real economy in Italy, including 9.9% in private debt funds, 19% in private equity funds, 25.3% in infrastructure, 9.5% in investment company Arpinge, 4.2% in the highway Pedemontana and the remainder with the Bank of Italy, according to the statement.

Bonds contributed almost 60% to the overall operating results of the fund in 2020. Italian government bonds in particular benefited from the sharp narrowing of spreads compared with the German Bunds, it said.

The fund’s board of directors closely monitored the impact of the pandemic last year, it said, adding that it approved a gradual increase of its equity component with regards to Europe and the Pacific region, which benefited from the exit from the lockdown after the first wave of infections.

The board approved a further increase in its equity component with regards to the US in the second half of last year. For its absolute return segment, the fund increased positions in UCITS funds at the end of the year.

Inarcassa saw the surplus from the fund’s operations decrease year-on-year in 2020 to €485.4m, compared with €805.9m in 2019, according to the statement.

The ratio between income and expenses for pensions or welfare benefits amounted to €279m in 2020, down by almost 30% year-on-year compared with €393m in 2019.

The number of members rose by 480 to a total of 168,981. Inarcassa’s assets at market value reached €11.8bn at the end of December 2020 to peak above €12bn at the end of April of this year.

Enpab improves operating profits

The pension fund for Italian biologists – Enpab – ended 2020 with operating profits of €8m and net assets of 117.4m. Net assets stood at €109.7m in 2019.

The number of members rose by 2.87% to 17,077 – which include 16,184 active insured and 893 retirees.

The fund continued to see a constant increase in the number of freelancer biologists, it said. Women represented the vast majority (74%) of the members at Enpab. In all age groups, except from 65 years old onwards, women represented more than 71% of the total membership.

Enpab has paid out 1,603 pensions last year, including 879 for men and 724 for women. The number of pensions paid grew by 17% year-on-year in 2020 compared with 2019. The ratio between retirees and active members is 1/10.

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