SPAIN - The assets managed by Spanish pension funds rose more than 14% in 2003, according to the economy ministry.

“The assets managed by pension funds surpasses 56.7 billion euros, a growth of 14.08% with respect to 2002,” the ministry said in its website. It added that 50.84% of assets are invested in fixed income.

The number of contributors to pension plans was almost 7.3 million, an increase of 12%. More than 6.4 million are members of individual plans – or 88.77% of the total.

The pension funds covered by the Dirección General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones have risen to 1,054 from 917 while the number of pension plans have risen to 2,948, from 2,775.

“The greater growth corresponds, this time, to individual plans, but occupational plans still represent something more than 60% of the total of plans.”

It added that 65.59% of the plans are defined contribution while only 1.23% are defined benefit – the rest is mixed.

And the number of registered managing organizations at the end of the 2003 continued the lower trend of previous years, falling from 139 to 128.

Registered depositary organizations have undergone a “considerable reduction”, from 120 to 108 organizations.

It added that 2003 was an “inflection point” for the life insurance industry – pointing out that non-life premiums rose 57%.