Dragon Capital VietFund Management, a Ho Chi Minh-based money management firm, has launched Vietnam's first private sector retirement savings vehicle.
The defined contribution plan, with government tax incentives for employees and employers alike, offers savers three fund options — a relatively high-risk 50-50 split between equities and bonds, a 65% bond-35% stock mix and a conservative 80% bond-20% stock mix.
Savings can be withdrawn tax-free upon reaching retirement age, currently 62 for men and 60 for woman.
Life insurers in Vietnam have had some success selling savings products in recent years but those heavily regulated offerings invest almost exclusively in government securities, Dominic Scriven, executive chairman and co-founder of Dragon Capital VietFund Management, said in an interview.
Meanwhile, with 20% of Vietnam's population, now 96 million people, forecast to be in retirement by 2030 and 30% by 2050, tapping private savings to supplement the country's only pension plan — the Vietnam Social Security Fund, with only about 10 million contributors at present — is a priority, he said.
Mr. Scriven, a 25-year veteran of Vietnam's money management market, said Dragon's team has been engaging with local regulators for years in an effort to channel private savings into retirement pools. Earlier this year, Dragon secured Vietnam's first "voluntary supplementary provident plan" license.
He said the new savings vehicle will be targeted at Vietnam's 35 million to 40 million urban dwellers, where per capita GDP in metropolitan areas such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City ranges from $7,000 to $10,000.
For Dragon, which has focused on offering overseas institutional investors exposure to Vietnamese stocks and bonds, the new retirement offering amounts to "broadening our vision from being entirely focused on foreign institutions to really looking at the underlying market," Mr. Scriven said.
Dragon Capital VietFund Management oversees roughly $4.5 billion in assets under management.