Romanian government may cut private pension contributions. BUCHAREST, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Romania was analysing whether to cut contributions to mandatory private pension schemes from next year and redirect some of the funds into state coffers, the prime minster said on Friday.
Romania overhauled its communist-era pension system in 2008, making it compulsory for working Romanians under 35 to contribute to a „second pillar” of private pension schemes as well as their state pension.
However, some analysts are concerned that the government may view these contributions as a way to help it deal with a deficit which threatens to burst above levels allowed in EU rules.
„I have asked the finance ministry and the pension system representatives to make an analysis,” Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said after a meeting of senior members of the ruling Social Democrats in a Black Sea resort.
„We… ran the numbers to see what yield does this second pillar have. We were surprised to find the state is a better administrator at this thing.”
„Half the sum will go to the first pillar (the state pension) and half of it to the second pillar.”
Just under 7 million people are contributing to second- pillar private pension funds, whose assets totalled 36.06 billion lei ($9.28 billion) at the end of June, or the equivalent of more than 4 percent of gross domestic product.
The funds are among the biggest investors in Romania’s relatively small financial markets and data from the private pension association showed their net average yield stood at 7.38 percent on the year in June, sharply above market interest rates.