ITALY - Italians working in the craftsmen, transport and agricultural sector now have industry-specific pension funds.

Artifond, Previlog and Agrifondo were created in the wake of new regulations which will see the severance pay TFR go into second pillar pension provision from July unless employees choose to leave it in the state retirement fund. Companies with less than 50 employees can keep the money in their accounts.

The funds registered with the Commissione di Vigilanza sui Fondi Pensione (COVIP), the pension fund supervisory board, in March and are now starting operations bringing the total number of second pillar pension funds in Italy to 158.

Artifond can collect both pension contributions and TFR money from around 950,000 craftsmen, but it will not collect from builders as they have their own pension fund.

Previlog has a potential client base of around 40,000 workers in the transport (including driving school instructors), logistics and shipment industry.

Agrifondo will try to enrol some of the 475,000 workers in the agricultural sector.

Previprof, which will seek to build pension contributions from around 1.3m workers in the academic sector, is also said to have registered with COVIP but has not yet obtained permission to start collecting money.

It was founded through a joint initiative between the employer's representative Confprofessioni and trade unions.