Pension fund members are close to 10 million


By John

The number of members of pension funds is increasing returns rise even above 10%, effectively beating the performance of the severance pay left in the company; the presence of young people is growing compared to the past, although still remaining quite small, while the gender gap continues to be felt. It is a synthetic snapshot of the world of pension funds in Italy which shows how this particular instrument for investing citizens’ savings is becoming increasingly popular in the panorama of social security coverage. The detailed plan was illustrated in the annual report of Covip, the Pension Fund Supervision Commission, on the state of the sectors supervised in 2023 and their evolutionary prospects.

At the end of last year iThe total number of people enrolled in the supplementary pension scheme was close to 10 million (9.6 million), with an increase of +3.7% compared to 2022: a figure that represents 36.9% of the workforce in Italy. Out of a total of 302 pension funds, 33 are negotiated, 40 open funds, 68 individual pension plans (PIPs) and 161 pre-existing pension funds. In particular, the trading funds have 3.9 million members (+5.4% compared to 2022). On the other hand, 1.9 million are registered in open funds (+5.9%) and 3.9 million in PIPs (+1.7%); 656 thousand to pre-existing funds. With bank assets rising to 114.3 billion euros from 103.8 in the previous year, 2023 saw the positive dynamics of the financial markets also reflected in the returns of all types of investment lines, thus recovering the losses of 2022.

According to Covip, the equity sectors recorded the best performances, with returns over the year on average equal to 10.2% in trading funds, 11.3% in open-end funds and 11.5% in PIPs. Bond sectors also recorded positive returns. And in the 10 years from the end of 2013 to the end of 2023, the average compound annual returns of the lines with a higher equity content are, for all types of pension schemes, between 4.2 and 4.5%, therefore also higher than the rate of revaluation of the severance pay, which over the decade was equal to 2.4%. However, women, under 35s and workers from the South are still poorly represented in the supplementary pension system. In fact, men make up 61.7% of the members of these sectors, compared to women who make up 42.6% of the members of open funds and 46.6% of PIPs.

A generational gap should also be noted: based on age in fact, members are mainly concentrated in the intermediate classes and those closest to retirement. 47.8% of members are aged between 35 and 54 and the weight of the youngest component (up to 34 years) on the total number of members, despite having grown, still remains low: 19.3% in 2023 against 17.6% in 2019. As regards the geographical area, the participation rate exceeds the national average in the northern regions, while lower values ​​and decidedly below the average are recorded in most of the southern regions. In light of this evidence, Covip underlines that «the challenge of social security inclusion is of crucial importance. Women, young people, workers from southern areas continue to be less present in the supplementary pension system.” For this reason the commission underlines that “a set of interventions should help the ability to pay of less wealthy people, through a remodulation of tax benefits”.