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Italy's funds 'struggling'

The Italian pension fund industry “is struggling to take off”, says the head of pension regulator Covip.
Presenting Covip's annual report for 2004, Luigi Scimia said: "The pension fund industry is struggling to take off, at least in terms of membership.”
He said that the slow pace of development was due to a lack of information, especially among young workers, whose first pillar pension will be reduced by 19 percentage points to 43.7% by 2050.
Scimia, who was appointed last August, said that the pension provision industry in 2004 was worth e41bn – of which e30.5bn pertains to funds in existence before 1993. At the end of 2004, Covip regulated most of these funds, worth a total e27bn.
Membership to post-1993 funds, which are worth e8.1bn, grew “only just 2.7%” in 2004.
Individual insurance (PIP), which Scimia said was more expensive but yielded better returns, saw 23% growth. He said that joining a pension fund made better financial sense for a worker from the cost point of view.

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