The government has proposed to invest pension money in risky projects

Pension funds may provide the right to invest in funds of direct and venture investments, the investment partnership and the shares of technological companies, small and medium capitalization, according to the draft anti-crisis plan introduced by the Ministry of economic development in the government (at the disposal). To develop the draft law is the Ministry of economic development and the Ministry of Finance with participation of Bank of Russia by June 2016.

The initiative aims to “promote the attraction of financial resources for innovative and investment activity”, reported the press service of the Ministry of economic development. “As part of the development of the issue with the Finance Ministry and other concerned organizations will clarify the details of a possible implementation of this proposal, including on the basis of further analysis of its influence on the parameters of the repayment and return the relevant funds”, — is spoken in the official reply of the Ministry. In the first nine months of 2015 in the NPF was concentrated RUB 1.7 trillion in mandatory savings and 982 billion rubles voluntary.

The Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia has not provided comment at the time of publication of the material.

Previously about the possibility to allow to invest pension money in startups said the Chairman of the Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov. In December 2015, he said that the regulator is studying this possibility. “The problem is how to evaluate these investments, because you can’t, for example, to rate the shares as held to maturity. Start — UPS are, in fact, equity. The question is how to evaluate how to separate the income of some pensioners from other”, — quotes the words of the Chairman of the Central Bank newspaper “Kommersant”. He also added that pension funds can afford to participate in private equity funds. However, according to Shvetsova, the necessary condition for this system will be built risk management in pension funds.

For the first time the use of pension funds in innovative industry were made in July 2014. Then Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of economic development to study the issue of investment of pension funds in venture projects. It is proposed to allow to invest in venture capital funds 1% of pension savings, as well as to give an opportunity for the NPF to invest pension reserves in start-UPS and private equity funds.

The idea to use the money for future pensioners to support innovation projects also supported the head of “RUSNANO” Anatoly Chubais, according to which it will attract in the Russian venture industry to 100 billion rubles annually. “For the Russian non-state pension funds there are no clear mechanisms for investments in the Russian venture industry. Urgent step is to establish a clear legal path, allowing the NPF to invest in venture funds”, — quotes its words “Interfax”.

Now pension savings can be placed in shares and bonds of Russian companies, government securities, mortgage certificates, as well as deposits of banks and units of mutual Funds. According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the European pension Fund Evgeny Yakushev, use of pension funds in venture capital projects is difficult now because of the high risk. He recalled that nobody cancelled the break-even rule for NPF. “In this case, it is difficult for us to explain to the regulator why our investment in a particular innovation project losses”, — said Yakushev.

According to him, the West funds can afford to invest up to 5% of their funds in venture projects. “But as a rule pension money to buy shares of venture funds that already have a portfolio of various innovative projects. In Russia, given the low investment culture, the NPF will have to invest in a particular company, independently analyzing the risks and potential profitability”, — said Evgeny Yakushev.

The head of Sberbank NPF Galina Morozova sure that the funds are unable to invest in such highly risky projects. “For this, firstly, you need to change the whole system of management with its investment restrictions and the break-even requirement, second, to build a qualitative system of risk management, which would allow to assess the profitability of the venture projects. Now it is not in the most funds, its creation will take considerable time,” she says.

With the participation of Peter Netreby