POLAND - The 15 mandatory Polish pension funds (OFE) returned 0.31% in March but assets grew 2.65% because of transfers from the social security body ZUS.

For the first time in four months the OFE posted a positive result again since returning -4% in November last year, the worst result since their inception in 1999, according to researchers at analizy online.
However, the funds still missed their benchmark , which is the IRFU index consisting of 30% equities and 70% bonds, returning 0.71% last months.

The only fund to post a negative result was the smallest participant OFE Polsat (-0.78%).

OFE assets grew 2.65% or PLN3.6bn (€1.1bn) to PLN138.1bn, which is still way below the record pre-crisis level of PLN142.8bn last October.

The management result contributed PLN535m to the asset increase while the biggest contribution came from the state social security entity ZUS which transferred PLN2.1bn.

The ZUS is collecting 7.3% of gross salaries from every company transfers them to the chosen funds on a regular basis.

Because of technical difficulties in the starting phase of its new system the ZUS has long been working to reduce the backlog in the system. This leads to huge differences in transfers from month to month.

In February, ZUS had transferred PLN1.6bn with the backlog expecting to be cleared in the course of this year.

Currently, the government is working on details of a bill to regulate the payments from second pillar funds as the first pensions will have to be paid out next year.