ECONOMY

Pension fund assets fully documented for the first time

The government published for the first time a complete record and valuation of all property owned by the country’s social security funds, which on December 31, 2004, amounted to 25.637 billion euros. Labor and Social Security Minister Savvas Tsitouridis said this publication allows for easy access to data and facilitates studies as well as measures to improve the financial state of funds. The funds’ property was distributed as follows: Deposits amounted to 10.206 billion euros, or 39.81 percent of the total. Securities came to 14.734 billion euros, or 57.47 percent of the total, and real estate added up to 696.93 million euros, or 2.72 percent of the total. The main social security funds accounted for 58.78 percent of properties, the auxiliary funds covered 25.01 percent, while the welfare and health funds contributed 8.95 percent and 7.26 percent respectively. The leading fund in properties was the Social Security Foundation (IKA) with 19.3 percent of the total, followed by the Farmers’ Pension Fund (OGA) with 9.28 percent. The top 10 funds accounted for 60.94 percent of the total. The funds’ property placed in securities is split among bonds (65.58 percent), stocks (23.7 percent), mutual funds (8.67 percent) as well as in treasury bills and debentures. The property invested in stocks reached 3.493 billion euros, in banks (74.83 percent), telecommunications (7.36 percent), electricity (6.76 percent) as well as small interests in investment firms, games of chance and oil refineries. Most of the property invested went to National Bank of Greece (NBG) stocks (54 percent), followed by Emporiki Bank (19.4 percent), Alpha Bank, Bank of Attica and EFG Eurobank. With those investments, the social security funds possessed a significant percentage of bank shares: 41.9 percent of the Bank of Attica, 24.65 percent of Emporiki Bank, 20.87 percent of the Bank of Greece and 17.56 percent of NBG. This summary is indicative of the depth of the data included in the Labor Ministry’s publication released yesterday to journalists, which could prove very useful in the discussion on the future of social security funds. Earlier yesterday Tsitouridis stated that the «Employment and Professional Training» program is the most important tool for realizing the ministry’s strategy for developing Greece’s human resources and fighting unemployment. The state funds allocated to this program amount to 2.18 billion euros.