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Need for pension reforms to make progress - CII

Apr '07
CII organised an intensive discussion to deliberate on the current state of pension reforms and the involvement of the financial sector in developing a roadmap for this segment.

Mr U K Sinha, Chairman, CII National Committee on Mutual Funds, speaking at the session, mentioned that progress can be made on pension reforms in the light of the meeting of the Chief Ministers with the Prime Minister – especially with regard to the newly recruited government employees.

He highlighted the point that it is fair to offer investment options to such employees as they are deprived of defined benefits which was available to other government employees. He exhorted the industry to be ready for this. He urged that investor education and awareness was of prime importance.

The bias against investment in equities needs to be done away with, he argued, citing instances of Japan, China and Australia where the pension system held a huge corpus in equities – both domestic and international.

The crux, he said, was to ensure better returns on retirement. It was essential that dialogues with stakeholders in the pension reforms process be continued.

Mr Deepak Satwalekar, MD and CEO HDFC Standard Life, speaking at the occasion emphasised that there was a need for the convergence of regulators in this sector and the necessity was to regulate the instruments rather than the entities.

The Roundtable also emphasised the need to cover the unorganised sector through pensions. It stressed on the need to involve the mutual funds and the insurance sector in managing the pension corpus.

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