Pensionskassen are 'confident' about Austrian court action
AUSTRIA - Austrian opposition parties have called on the constitutional court to review the law on pension funds following last year's investment losses, but the pension fund association is confident the action will be dismissed.
MPs from the right-of-centre FPÖ and BZÖ as well as the Greens have filed legal action with the constitutional court in a bid to get the state to compensate pensioners for losses.
They also want individual pensioners to be able to switch pension funds or completely withdraw from the pensions system.
While an individual's right to change pension funds is among the items discussed for an amendment to the pension fund legislation, the pension fund association has warned against making the early withdrawal of money from the system possible. (See earlier IPE story: Economist warns pensions should not contain equities)
"Arbitrary withdrawals from the system would damage other participants," said Fritz Janda, head of the Austrian pension fund association.
He is confident that the system is "in line with the constitution" and that the action will be dismissed.
The constitutional court has in the past dismissed similar claims, and Janda pointed out that the performance of pension funds is already improving again.
Austrian pensionskassen returned 3.74% in the first half of 2009. (See earlier IPE story: Austrian pensionskassen back on positive ground)
If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org