ITALY - Fondo Scuola Espero, the new government-backed pension fund targeting 1.1 million teachers, has tendered for a manager to take on its administration and accountancy function.

Espero’s head of administration, Francesco Moretti, told IPE that the fund, which if joined by all teachers would represent 33.47% of public employees, would consider applications from Italian and foreign managers alike.

Espero was looking for a candidate to provide “in-depth reporting” on the activities and dynamics of the fund as well as providing accountancy and administration services.

Statistics, performance measurement and detailed information on the number of members are some of the reporting aspects the fund is most interested in.

The deadline for applications is July 31. Espero plans to select the manager by the end of September.

Moretti said the fund’s next step would be to appoint a depositary and the fund would consider foreign depot banks with a subsidiary in Italy.

Asset managers for the resources gained from the €2.58 subscription fee and the state’s €2.58 a-member contributions, would be appointed last and would start managing money in 2005.

Espero was set up by the Agency for the Representation of the Public Administration, Aran, and the most representative trade unions and authorised by pension regulator Covip in May.

Public employees have been so far barred from schemes because their end of career indemnity, TFS, is not know to the law in the same way as other employee’s TFR, the main component of the second pillar.

But a consultant to the fund told IPE that employees hired by December 31 2000 who wish to join Espero can have their TFS converted into a TFR. The state would pay 2% of it in the fund and would also give an extra 1.5% contribution.