SANTIAGO, June 19 Chilean president Sebastian
Pinera is seeking to reform the Andean country's private pension
funds to boost competitiveness and increase pensions for
workers, he told a local radio station on Wednesday.
The conservative Pinera, whose four-year term ends next
March, declined to give further details, adding that the
proposal would be unveiled soon.
"This seeks to improve the system, (provide) greater
competitiveness, lower costs, lower commissions, (give) better
returns on investment, but also (seeks to) increase the
contribution rate and create more incentives so people who want
and can remain in the workforce to do so," Pinera told radio
The pension funds, Chile's biggest institutional investors,
have been crucial in developing the country's local stock
market. But many Chileans say they do not receive decent
pensions in return for hefty, largely mandatory contributions to
Pensions, as well as education reform and improved wages,
are seen as key electoral issues ahead of the Nov. 17
presidential race for a successor to Pinera, who is barred from
running for a second term.
Several left-wing candidates, including frontrunner and
former president Michelle Bachelet, have included the creation
of a state-run pension in their campaign proposals.
Chile's private pension fund system was created by Pinera's
brother Jose, a former minister under ex-dictator Augusto
Under the system, six private pension groups administer five
different funds that invest in fixed income and stocks.
The system, which was worth around $164.96 billion dollars
in May, has attracted investor attention due to high returns and
robust local economic growth.