HANFA Board adopts Guidelines for pension companies on increasing the level of financial literacy

Published: 10 June 2020.

At the meeting held today, the Board of the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency adopted Guidelines for pension companies on increasing the level of financial literacy of citizens of the Republic of Croatia.

The aim of the Guidelines is to improve, develop and standardize the business practices of pension companies when it comes to informing and raising the level of financial literacy of the existing and future members of pension funds. Considering the fact that the public is still not sufficiently familiar with the terms related to the pension system and pension savings, the Guidelines will contribute to greater public presence and recognition of pension funds, better knowledge of pension terms and strengthening the overall level of financial literacy of citizens. All this, in the long run, will contribute to better communication and greater confidence of the insured persons in the pension system.

The Guidelines define, among other things, the separation of activities for strengthening financial literacy from the promotional activities of companies, the obligation to have strategies in the implementation of activities, segmentation of activities by target groups, the manner in which regulators report on activities and more.

For example, pension companies are expected not to consider and present their own promotional activities, as well as the execution of certain legal obligations (such as publishing statutes, information brochures or fund prospectuses and sending notifications to members on the balance in their personal accounts) as activities within the process of strengthening financial literacy.

In addition, investments in the development and maintenance of platforms where members have access to data on funds raised in their personal accounts, as well as forecasting the amount of expected pension, or providing such data via the pension company's website cannot be considered as investments in financial literacy.

When planning activities aimed at strengthening financial literacy, pension companies will take into account that an adequate process of raising the level of financial literacy cannot be a one-time or short-term process. Therefore, companies will develop their own financial literacy strategies and, if necessary, supplement them taking into account important changes, such as amendments to relevant regulations, publications of results of research on financial literacy and similar. The strategies will be renewed by the companies at least every three years, they will be adopted at the level of the pension company's management, all employees of the company will be informed about them, and each pension company will appoint a person responsible for their implementation.

Pension companies will regularly inform HANFA on the activities undertaken, and they should not view the above-mentioned obligations as a fulfilment of a legal commitment, but as a contribution to better visibility of pension companies and strengthening the confidence of insured persons in the entire pension system.

In addition, at the meeting held today, HANFA Board issued the Decision granting approval to the company Daimler Mobility AG, with its registered office in Stuttgart, Federal Republic of Germany, to acquire a qualifying holding in the company Mercedes-Benz Leasing Hrvatska d.o.o. za leasing nekretnina, vozila i strojeva, with its registered office in Zagreb, reaching a 100% share in the initial capital and voting rights.

Furthermore, the company Global Invest d.o.o., from Zagreb, was approved an extension of the deadline to align investments of assets of Capital Breeder open-ended investment fund with public offering in unlisted securities, for further three (3) months, i.e. until 11 September 2020, while the alternative investment fund management company FEELSGOOD CAPITAL PARTNERS, from Zagreb, was granted approval to establish and manage Feelsgood Social Impact Investment Fund – venture capital alternative investment fund with private offering.