SPAIN - Madrid town council’s pension fund, which is in the process of selecting new managers, has chosen four Spanish candidates for its final short-list, according to reports.

According to press reports, banking groups BBVA, La Caixa, Caja Madrid and insurer Caser are the four managers being considered by the fund, which will cover 20,000 employees.

Its initial annual capital value will amount to about €6m, which is the value of contributions for 2004 and 2005. The municipality tendered the brief in June and the initial candidate list is believed to have featured 12 managers.

Neither Madrid’s town council nor the short-listed managers were available for comment.

Meanwhile, labour minister Jesús Caldera has told the Spanish press that pensions are “more guaranteed than ever”. He added that the social security system was in the midst of the “best days of its history” and that nobody should worry.

The declaration came days after the government warned that the current pension system needs to be reformed to guarantee stability after 2015.

But Caldera also envisaged “changes to consolidate the system”. Last week the Spanish press reported that the social security fund could face “technical bankruptcy” after 2020.

Social security secretary Octavio Granado said reform would be “fundamental”. Reserves will be used to absorb the initial deficit until 2020, when the cost of pensions is expected to exceed contributions by €18bn.