ITALY - The Italian regions Lombardy, Veneto and Sicily are looking at adopting territorial pension fund arrangements similar to PensPlan for the Trentino region.

Michael Atzwanger, managing director of the South Tyrol based €500m open pension fund PensPlan, told IPE Lombardy and Veneto, in particular , have shown strong interest.

He added, however, discussions are at a very early stage because of opposition from unions and various other obstacles.

In any case, the future implementation of a territorial fund would be a very slow process, said Atzwanger.

Speaking at a conference of European Association of Paritarian Institutions of Social Protection (AEIP) in Brussels yesterday, Atzwanger added the Veneto region is the closest to implementing a territorial scheme thanks to a recent law change.

PensPlan is the pension services provider of the semi-autonomous Trentino Alto Adige region in northern Italy.

In September, IPE reported the company is planning to offer a cross-border fund in Germany under the pension directive by the middle of next year.

"We want to realise the same PensPlan project in Germany as we did in South Tyrol," Atzwanger said at the time, adding: "In a second step, that means that we will offer PensPlan Profi in Germany."
Atzwanger previously said he is certain the company's approach of targeting small and medium-sized companies and offering their employees second-pillar pension fund solutions will be as successful in other European countries.

That said, he also told IPE PensPlan would not deviate from its core markets of Austria, Italy and Germany.

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