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Monday, March 12, 2018

“Not taking care of retirees, and the concern for Kudrin”

The largest non-state pension funds showed a year-to-extremely low return on pension savings. Among the outsiders – NPF “Welfare OPS”, the Board of Directors in March, which was headed by Alexei Kudrin. It has overtaken virtually all other funds are among the largest. Whether the former Finance Minister to rectify the situation in his new fiefdom?

The Bank of Russia has published the data about what kind of yield showed the non-state pension funds that invest people’s savings for future pension. The average yield of 87 NPF was more than twice below inflation in 2014 was only 4.9% per annum against inflation in 2014, 11.36%.

“Outwardly, everything looks pretty decent. However, I think it does not care about pensioners, and caring about Kudrin”

However, the average rating does not show the whole picture. The rating of profitability of NPF indicates that the largest of them – not in the forefront in the list. Thus, large pension funds, in particular, “Blagosostoyanie OPS”, NPF of Sberbank, “Gazfond pension savings”, “Kitfinans NPF VTB Pension Fund” Nasledie”, “Promagrofond”, showed a yield of less than 5%.

But smaller, for example of Bashkomsnabbank NPF, NPF “adekta-Pension” and the European pension Fund – on the contrary, were the most profitable. The last two showed yield only a little lower than inflation – and 11,12 11,22% per annum. A private pension Fund Bashkomsnabbank has managed to increase the income of its customers immediately on 42,24%. Director of Department of trust management of Bank of Russia Philip Gabunia explained that the leader has achieved this return due to the fact that invested in foreign currency and the dollar in the past year rose by 66% against the ruble.

Large funds earn for their clients less because they prefer conservative methods of investing mainly in the bond market. “All the major funds a large part of making investment in bonds of the state and the largest commercial companies, the profitability of which does not exceed inflation. The amount of such investments in the portfolio funds is about 60%,” – said the newspaper VIEW Dmitry Solonnikov of “1Капиталь”. The index of corporate bonds MICEX in 2014 was down 1.4%, MICEX index – by 6.7%.

Also conservative investment instrument Bank deposits. It rate for legal entities in 2014 was at the level of 10-11% per annum. That is, large funds earned on the pension savings is much less than if the money just put on a Bank Deposit.

“The smaller, the APF forced to work better, as well as to risk: the investment portfolio is not as conservative so they can show greater profitability,” says Solonnikov.

Interestingly, NPF “Welfare OPS”, the Board of Directors which is headed at the beginning of March Alexei Kudrin, is the second largest pension Fund reserves. Its reserves are estimated at 247 billion rubles. The Kudrin Fund is also the third of the carrying value of pension savings – nearly 115 billion rubles.

In NPF “Welfare of OPS” insured nearly 1.8 million people, more than just NPF “LUKOIL-Garant” (2,484 million) and NPF “KIT Finance”. However, the yield of NPF Kudrin seriously lags behind other major funds.

NPF “Welfare of OPS” by the end of 2014 was at the 75th place in profitability among the 120 non-state pension funds. He showed a total yield of 1.47%. For comparison, a comparable (115 billion under management), NPF “LUKOIL-Garant” (150 billion under management) showed the yield of 8.95% and seventh place in the ranking. NPF “Blagosostoyanie OPS” was ahead of almost all other funds-major. Ahead in terms of profitability and NPF of Sberbank (60-th place), and Gazfond pension savings”, “Kitfinans NPF VTB Pension Fund” LUKOIL-Garant”, NPF of electric power industry”.

The parish Kudrin aims to correct the extremely low level of profitability of NPF “Welfare of OPS”. Recently, the government began to consider a bill on a possible change in legislation with respect to foundations, which provides an opportunity for the NPF to acquire shares of companies. At least Kudrin and other control of the NPF will have an additional opportunity to prove themselves to be effective managers and to improve the profitability of their funds.

However, experts are not sure that the owners of NPF “Blagosostoyanie OPS” was chosen for this purpose, the right person. Strictly speaking, Kudrin is an accountant, not an economist, the Director of the Institute of globalization problems, doctor of economic Sciences Mikhail Delyagin. Accountants and money to invest do not know. So the big question is whether Kudrin to increase the yield of the Fund that its customers no longer lose their retirement savings.

“Outwardly, everything looks decent: in our stock and all are very bad, pensioners unable to escape, let’s invite a good specialist who will solve our problems. However, I think it does not care about pensioners, and caring about Kudrin,” – says the newspaper VIEW Mikhail Delyagin. In his opinion, “all statements Kudrin in recent years – is the beginning of his presidential election program.”

His arrival in the NPF are required in order “to increase its weight and transform his image”. “It’s one thing – some public man goes to the President, and another thing – the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the pension Fund, which takes care of pensioners. And when he demands to raise the retirement age, it is not a mockery of pensioners, it is this liberal concern for them,” – said Delyagin. In addition, the chairmanship in the NPF is a legal source of income. “I think he (Kudrin – approx. OPINION) with the sources of money is no problem, but in politics you need to have another pit-2 pass, you need a legal source of money,” Delyagin added.

“In addition, the acquisition of a man who is a friend of Putin, good for any business. And there is absolutely no important the level of his professionalism. The important thing is that he got this good. Kudrin – a man who only has a reputation as a friend of Putin, and even if he is a foe of Putin, the world might do about it a very long time to learn,” – said Delyagin, adding that Kudrin is now in the same liberal clan with Bulk.

The ex-Minister of Finance do now only makes that criticizes the actions of the authorities, often forgetting that the current domestic problems in the economy it is most relevant.

For example, during a recent direct line with President Vladimir Putin had an argument with Kudrin. Former Minister of Finance said that the first Putin’s presidential term was characterized by economic growth at 7% at an oil price of $ 30, and now, at an average price of $ 65-70 a barrel, GDP growth on average will not exceed 1.5%. “The old growth model has outlived its usefulness, and the new is not yet visible”, – he said, asking the President that he is willing to do to create a new growth model.

Citing such comparisons, Kudrin shows incompetence, says Delyagin. Comparison of GDP growth in 2000-2008 and in the years 2012-2018 is incorrect. Kudrin wanted thereby to show the audience that the situation was better.

“But to compare recovery after the disaster of the 90-ies, amplified fourfold devaluation and subsequent dizzying (15 times!) the rise in oil prices (despite the fact that the 2008-2009 financial crisis managed to worsen the statistics of only the fourth quarter), with the current period of cheaper oil and the exhaustion of existing 10 years ago, reserves at least unfair. And ignoring this is a sign of either dishonesty or ignorance, or a harmonious combination of these necessary liberal qualities,” writes Delyagin in his article published in “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”.

Himself Kudrin proposes to improve the situation in the country, “Jesuit liberal recipes”, which will only aggravate the situation, says Delyagin. In particular, it proposes to provide targeted social assistance to fight inflation by tightening fiscal policy to reduce budget expenditures and not to increase salaries, which, in his opinion, can’t outrun productivity. “Targeted social assistance rational, only if you get the small minority. If it needs a huge part of the population, administrative costs (including the means test) become prohibitively large and “targeting” minimize turns”, – says Delyagin.

With regard to the fight against inflation, at the end of December 2014, the Central Bank went down this path, sharply raising the basic rate. It just came from the logic of liberal economic theory. What it led to – we all know. However, the controller realized his mistake and in the first quarter began a gradual easing of monetary policy, reducing the rate in order not to strangle the business.

Delyagin also surprised that, when Kudrin said that the salary could not outrun productivity, he does not understand that at the macro level labour productivity is calculated on the basis of GDP and depends primarily on the dynamics of oil prices. In addition, public sector wages – teachers and doctors – it is impossible a priori to correlate with productivity, but this does not mean that they should beg. “And most importantly – a comparison of trends in productivity and wages since the beginning of 2000-ies there is a monstrous deceit, ignoring the fact that wage growth in the zero years was only a partial compensation of the monstrous failure of the 90-ies,” concludes Delyagin.

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