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Italy’s second pillar flourishes under TFR

ITALY - Subscriptions to the Italian second pillar doubled to 2.7 million accounts in the first half of this year, the Italian pension fund regulator Covip has announced.

Covip made the announcements in its annual report published last week, stating in the first six months of 2007 around 900,000 additional workers enrolled.

This increase follows a recent reform which gave employees the choice between transferring their severance payments to a private pension fund, or keeping it with their company.

The severance payments, the 'so-called' TFR, would go into pension funds unless employees specifically chose for their money not to go into the second pillar.

Covip said in its report the reform affected around 12.2m workers. As it stands, however, only 22% are have now subscribed to the second pillar.

Earlier this month, Andrea Girardelli, managing director at major Italian pension fund Fonchim, branded the TFR approach as too passive.

"The TFR compartment is a second-rate compartment: money goes there but you haven't made a decision about it," he told IPE.

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