The pension plans laguidecen. The volume of savings pocketed in Spain in this type of products closed 2018 in 107,033 million euros, a figure 3.7% lower than that of the previous year. The volume is very similar to what was in 2016 and 2015. In fact, 66.7% of the owners of this type of products did not contribute anything in 2017, the latest data offered by the Directorate General of Insurance and Pension Funds (DGSFP).
The drops in volumes recorded in 2018 were mainly due to the bad evolution of the financial markets. Of the 4,091 million euros of decrease, 95% is explained by the depreciation of the bonds and shares in which the pension plans invested. The rest is because more and more money comes out of the system (for people who reach retirement age and begin to recover the plan) and less money comes in the form of contributions. Specifically, last year there were 202 million euros of net outflows of pension plan funds.
- Portfolio structure. 32.4% of the assets of the pension plans are in the Stock Exchange, a historical maximum. In 2012, that proportion was only 18.6%.
- Mobilizations. Last year, money was transferred from one individual plan to another for 9,724 million euros, which represents 13.2% of the system of individual plans. There had never been such a low number of transfers.
- Rescue in capital. 41.8% of the amount rescued from pension plans was withdrawn in the form of capital, despite the worst tax treatment.
- Unemployment. Last year there were 40,000 people who rescued their pension plan to find themselves in a situation of long-term unemployment.
In addition, the returns of the pension plans have left much to be desired. In those plans that have 20 years of history, their average annual return (after expenses) was 2.05%, a level that does not cover the average rise in the cost of living.
"We must recognize that for certain pension plans, long-term returns are not very high," explains Juan José Cotorruelo, director of Caser Vida y Pensiones and head of pension plans at Inverco, the association of fund managers and pensions. "Spaniards have always been very conservative, so the returns obtained by force are low. But nevertheless, there are more and more plans that invest in the stock market, which will translate into better returns in the future. "
Regarding the annual contributions, not only two out of three pension plan owners save absolutely nothing through this vehicle, but the rest almost does not put money. Almost half of those who do contribute less than 80 euros per month, a very low amount to be able to accumulate a sufficient patrimony to complement the retirement pension.
In the last eight years, the savings rate of Spaniards has declined systematically, and less than 6% of disposable income is already allocated to accumulate assets in the event of unforeseen events. A rate that is less than half the average for the eurozone.
Average, Spaniards have financial assets of less than 50,000 euros, against the 81,000 euros of the franeses, the 120,000 of the British and the 140,000 of the Swedes.
"Until the State does not recognize the need for private savings to increase to complete the retirement pension it is difficult for citizens to take conscience of this problem," explains Ángel Martínez-Aldama, president of Inverco.