Why save in the 3rd pension pillar? Learn more about situation in financial markets
What is the reason for downturn in financial markets and what are the forecasts?
The invasion of Ukraine has brought inconceivable loss for Ukrainians and significantly increased geopolitical uncertainty for the whole world. It has also had an economic impact.
Financial markets across the world have reacted negatively, with equity markets selling‑off and oil price spiking. Western countries are punishing Russia’s military action by imposing sanctions and trade restrictions. As the war continues, the prices of goods and services continue to rise, and central banks have been forced to raise interest rates.
High inflation and related raise of interest rates by central banks have created concerns about possible slowdown in economic growth, which has contributed to heightened volatility in both stock and bond markets. How long these fluctuations will last will largely depend on the indicators of inflation and economic growth indicators in the coming months, as financial market participants expect a turnaround in inflation growth. Reaching the highest inflation point would allow us to anticipate with more confidence the expected rise in interest rates and its impact on economic growth forecasts. As uncertainty declines, it is easier for financial market participants to estimate the fair value of assets and volatility in financial markets tends to decrease.
What is Luminor's response to what is happening in the financial markets?
Investments in Luminor pension funds are widely diversified by region and industry. The main goal of Luminor pension funds investment strategy is long‑term sustainable return, but short‑term volatility and periodic market turmoil are inevitable.
It is important to understand that short‑term negative value fluctuations are normal and an integral part of the investment process.
Luminor Asset Management team has reduced the risk of its investment portfolios since the beginning of this year. This was done mainly to avoid the negative effects that tighter monetary policy is likely to have. As a result, our total equity investments have been slightly lower than required by the strategy and we have shifted some of our equity investments to more stable industries, which tend to perform relatively more stably at indefinite times.
We will continue to monitor the conflict, assess the possible economic consequences, and adjust the portfolios accordingly. In the meantime, we look forward to the restoration of peace in Ukraine soon.
Why start saving in 3rd pension pillar now?
We must continue to think about our future and our prosperity after retiring. 3rd pension pillar savings are long term and should be based on a long‑term vision.
Long‑term savings with regular contributions during both downturns and booms in financial markets are a type of investment that reduces the impact of financial market fluctuations. This is typical practice for pension savings, as it results in growth of accumulated capital by counteracting short‑term fluctuations. It is important to maintain the frequency and amount of contributions to ensure positive result.
The downturn in the financial markets for long‑term savings with regular contributions can also be a good time to increase pension funds’ portfolio with lower price.
And, of course, we must not forget about the additional benefit of supplementary pension savings – participants of the 3rd pension pillar can use the personal income tax benefit up to 20 % of the contributions made to the supplementary pension fund (made by themselves or their spouse), which does not exceed 25 % of gross salary, max. EUR 1,500.
Why should I continue to make contributions if accumulated capital decreases not increase?
"Loss" is actual loss only at the time the funds are withdrawn (units of the pension fund are sold). For a higher long‑term result, it is important to maintain the frequency and amount of contributions when purchasing securities during the downturn in the financial markets, when their prices have fallen. Financial markets, like the economy, are cyclical: the recession is followed by an upturn and long‑term economic growth is on a positive trend. Financial markets largely reflect the growth of the global economy and, as historical data show, long‑term investment returns tend to be positive.
I’m close to my pension age, is it safer now to stop supplementary pension savings and withdraw money to protect myself from further losses?
First of all, it is necessary to assess whether these funds will be needed in the nearest future. If it is possible to continue contribute to supplementary pension savings, this would be the most appropriate decision at this time.
Short‑term negative fluctuations of assets value are normal and are an integral part of the investment process, as the growth of the global economy is also cyclical – periods of upswing and recession are interchangeable, but in the long run growth is positive.
Luminor Asset Management continues to monitor the situation as a result of the conflict, assess the potential economic consequences and adjust our portfolios accordingly.
What investment strategy is most appropriate right now - is it better to choose more conservative plan?
Regardless of the situation in the financial markets, it is very important that the pension investment strategy is in line with the planned period for 3rd pension pillar savings:
- If the period till retirement age is at least another 15 years and you are under 50 years old – the value of the pension plan assets has enough time to recover from the decline and create a positive increase in accrued capital. The most suitable pension funds, in this case, would be the Luminor Sustainable Future Index, where up to 100 % of assets are invested in index funds with high sustainability (ESG) standards, or the Luminor ateitis 16–50, where up to 100 % of assets are invested in equity funds.
- If the period till retirement age is shorter than 15 years and you are older than 50 years – it is worth considering changing the investment strategy to less risky - choose funds with a lower share of investments in equity funds. For example, create savings by choosing the Luminor ateitis 50–58 where assets in equities can reach 50 %, or Luminor ateitis 58+ if there is less than 7 years left till retirement. It is important to remember that with less risk, the growth is slower, but it is safer in the short term.
All important factors (such as risk tolerance, investment period, investment goals, and more) must be considered very carefully when deciding on the most appropriate investment strategy.
Recommended investment strategies for Luminor pension funds depending on the investing period.
Is it possible to withdraw funds from the 3rd pillar pension funds before reaching retirement age?
Yes, it is possible, but it is very important to familiarize yourself with the pricelist of pension funds and other taxation conditions. Funds withdrawn from the 3rd pillar pension funds will not be subject to income tax if all below conditions are met:
- The participant has reached the minimum retirement age* (5 years lower than the old‑age pension age),
- The validity period of the pension fund contract is not less than 5 years from the first payment.
More information is in Article 17 of GPMI.
*Also, when the contract was concluded before 2012 12 31 and the person has reached the age of 55, or when the customer has 0‑25 % or 30‑40 % disability.
What do the numbers in the titles of pension funds mean?
The numbers indicate the age of persons, whose expectations could be met most accurately by choosing this fund, taking into account the individual's life cycle.
It is recommended to review your personal strategy for the third pension pillar savings regularly, considering the risk level of the pension fund, your age, and your expected investment return. As retirement age approaches, it is recommended to consider switching the fund to a more conservative "Luminor ateitis 58+" in order to reduce potential investment risk.
Why is it important to choose a right fund for your age for your pension savings?
When saving for retirement, it is important to choose an investment strategy that fits your goals. The chosen strategy plays an important role in determining the potential performance of your investment.
Why should young people have funds with a higher proportion of stocks in it?
The basic rule for choosing a long-term investment strategy is that younger people should invest in the most aggressive funds, which have maximum equity proportions and also the greatest return potential. The reason behind it is that historically stocks have proven to have a higher return than bonds, but they are also riskier – meaning their value can also fall more during turbulent times.
When should I change my pension fund strategy?
Our recommendation is that you change your pension fund when you reach closer to retirement age. Then it is time to gradually scale down the risk by moving to the next fund based on your age.