TURKEY – The assets in Turkish pension mutual funds has grown to TRL1bn (€621m), the country’s Pension Monitoring Centre says.

The voluntary Individual Pension System, launched in 2003 as a part of social security reform in Turkey, has completed its second year.

According to the Pension Monitoring Centre’s quarterly report, the number of pension contracts reached 646,280 from 248,942 a year before.

And it said that as of November 9, “total amount of the pension mutual funds increased to TRL1bn” – from TRL175m a year ago.

According to the report, the number of pension plans provided by the 11 pension companies has grown by 44 to 167.

The centre noted that the new regulations aimed at introducing vesting periods and fund transfer opportunities, was “expected to boost the group contracts in the next few years”.

The International Monetary Fund noted lat week that Turkey’s pension deficit had risen from 2.5% of gross national product to 3.5% in 2004 – and that it was set to widen to “around 7% of GNP in the long run”.

“Without reform, the overall social security deficit was projected to more than double in the long run from its current level of 4.5% of GNP.”