Finance Minister Ionut Misa pointed out, in a communique issued on Thursday afternoon, that he did not state he would endorse the dissolving of pensions’ Pillar II, but simply answered a question that “was probably misinterpreted.” He claimed he could not even have made such a forecast and regrets the “confusion created.”
“Regarding the press information according to which I allegedly stated that the Government plans to dissolve pensions’ Pillar II, I hereby point out: I did not state I would endorse the dissolving of Pillar II. Nor do I plan to do this. This measure does not exist in the governing platform,” Misa argued.
He claimed he answered a question “that was probably misunderstood,” about the possibility of having Pillar II nationalised.
“I point out, once again, we are not dissolving or nationalising Pillar II. I couldn’t even have made such a forecast, considering that Pillar II funds are public funds, only the administrator is private. Public funds cannot be nationalised,” the minister said, regretting the confusion created and assuring all Romanians that “such a complex and sensitive topic is treated with maximum seriousness and professionalism by the Finance Ministry team.”
Earlier on Thursday, Misa had stated that Pillar II, which administers assets worth around RON 40 billion, will be dissolved and the money returned to the contributors, who would have to choose between the state-owned Pillar I and the privately-owned Pillar III. Misa does not consider this measure represents the nationalisation of private pensions. Following designated Finance Minister Ionut Misa’s statement, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea stated in Parliament, when asked about the dissolving of Pillar II, that this is “nonsense,” without making any further comments on this topic.
“Pillar II will be dissolved. The money will be reimbursed to all those who contributed; they will have the possibility to select the social insurance budget or Pillar III, the private one. They’ll choose whether their money will be administered by the state or by the private sector. We haven’t established a timetable, we intend to, toward the end of the year. (…) Pillar II pension funds administer assets of around 40 billion lei. However, the pension a contributor would benefit from would be approximately 25 lei per month,” Misa stated.
PM-designate Mihai Tudose: Not to be scrapped, full-stop
However, Mihai Tudose, Prime Minister-designate, contradicted Ionut Misa and stated on Thursday in Parliament that Pillar II pension fund will not be scrapped.
“It will not be scrapped. I don’t know why he (FinMin-designate Ionut Misa – ed.n.) said that, I will ask him. How could he say that. It won’t be scrapped, full-stop,” specified the Prime Minister-designate.
Dragnea: Finance Minister Misa has started his activity at the ministry on the wrong foot
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday, in Parliament, that confirmed Finance Minister Ionut Misa has started his activity at the ministry on the wrong foot, after he stated that Pillar II will be dissolved, adding that, as a result, he expects him to continue on the right foot.
In April this year pension funds administrator NN Pensii sent its clients a letter informing them about debates in the previous weeks about a potential decision to nationalize private pension funds, recommending contributors to stay updated on what would happen to their pension.
President at that time of the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) Misu Negritoiu said back then all the discussion about pensions nationalization was an economic nonsense, a smoke curtain, because the notion of nationalization does not exist given that Pillar II is funded by the state through budget allocations.
Following these discussions, the ASF Board fined NN Pensii with 1 percent of the company’s share capital, specifically 750,000 lei, and decided to withdraw the license of NN Pensii CEO Raluca Tintoiu.