By Roberta Kedzierski
Ten years after it first was launched, Italy's private pension system still faces a number of challenges, including the most basic: convincing workers they need a private pension.
As Franco Deotti, director of the Solidarieta Veneto pension fund for workers in the administrative region around Venice, explained: "Younger Italian workers are still not convinced of the need to save for a pension. When they change jobs, they tend to resign from the fund. Even if they remain in the area, and most do, and are thus eligible to continue their membership … they take the money out. They may sign up again later, but in the meantime have lost benefits accrued."
If workers are changing their jobs in the Veneto area, it is largely because there are plenty of them. Elsewhere in the country, workers are losing their jobs and not finding new ones. "We currently have 345,000 members, which is the same as the end of 2002," said Maurizio Aguzzi, director of Cometa, the Milan-based private pension fund for the metalworking industry. "Some 70% of the people leaving the fund are either retiring or have been cut from their company payroll."