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Kazakhstan may consider a single state-owned pension fund under foreign management

07 may 2012, 11:58
0
© RIA Novosti
© RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan is developing a new concept of its pension accumulation system through merging all the current pension funds into a single state-owned fund to be managed by a foreign company, KazTag Agency reports, citing an unidentified source.

According to the source, the suggestion of launching a single state-owned pension fund was put forward by the World Bank. The draft concept will be submitted for consideration in August 2012. It will be up to the nation’s leadership to decide whether it will be accepted. The fund is to be managed by a company that already has been cooperating with the government and national companies.

According to the source, in case the foreign assets management company gets hold of the $17 billion in pension accumulation the risk of losing the savings is obvious. The new managers may opt to channel the money into West – where the financial crisis has severely hit pension funds – rather than to invest into the Kazakhstan’s economy.

The source believes it’s sad that the Government isn’t willing to amend the excessively conservative legislation [regulating the pension accumulations market] believing it may enable pension funds misuse the assets, but is ready to provide such freedom to the foreign assets management company.

According to the source, the suggestion of launching a superfund managed by a foreign company is absurd. To see that, the regulator “may let the foreign company into one of the current pension funds and let it work for a year in line with the Kazakhstan’s legislation and on conditions equal to those for local pension funds. Results of the experiment will persuade the regulators to soften the norms for pension assets management”.

The source believes the problem of inflation – the key challenge for pension funds – may be solved through stricter control over prices and stronger support to small and middle-sized businesses. “If oligarchs promote their solutions through state-run agencies, let us set up a special committee comprising an odd number of economists to decide on economic expediency of any such solution”, the source suggests.

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