Russia will seize 244 billion rubles ($7.6 billion) from non-state pension funds

Russia to Grab Pension Money, “Temporarily”
By Andrey Ostroukh
October 3, 2013, 5:33 PM

[i]MOSCOW–Russia’s government is temporarily seizing $7.6 billion in savings from non-state pension funds while it carries out inspections, a move critics say looks like a “confiscation” aimed at plugging a hole in next year’s state budget.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told ministers Thursday that the government needs to check that the money Russians channel to private pension funds is safe. To do this, it will seize 244 billion rubles ($7.6 billion) from non-state pension funds and put them into the state pension fund.

Pension funds hold more than $100 billion in assets. Nearly half of that is mandatory savings managed by state-run bank VEB. Non-state pension funds and funds affiliated with state-controlled companies hold the rest.

Government officials say they’ll just hold the money on the state pension fund’s books for a year while the checks are carried out. But analysts say they suspect the government will be tempted to use the money to plug shortfalls in the pension system, instead of channeling funds from the state budget, as it has previously.

That’s because Russia’s budget is in need of money as the economy is struggling with low growth amid weak investment and demand for its commodities exports.[/i]


Fashionable thing. Hungary did the same two years ago, Poland planning to do this in the near future.