Bercy denounces the “excessive” costs of retirement savings plans and relies on transparency

Posted on Sep 30, 2021 at 1:19 PM

New pressure on insurers. Worried about the amount of commissions of certain retirement savings plans (PER), the government is asking distributors of these savings products to agree to present more clearly the fees that the French must pay when they save for their own. old days.

“I consider today that market players take commissions or fees that are excessive, said Thursday the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, about these supports which often take the form of life insurance and the costs of which have been the subject of criticism in recent months. “I want transparency to lead to lower costs. We must increase the comparability of offers, thus increasing competition between service providers, ”continued the Minister.

Concern for purchasing power

“We are at a time when it has not escaped you, the question of purchasing power occupies a lot of our compatriots,” continued the minister. I hope that there will be some work done with banks and insurance companies so that we can recapitulate all the costs that are due on a retirement savings plan ”.

More specifically, the government expects professionals to draw inspiration from the recommendations made by the President of the Financial Sector Advisory Committee (CCSF). In a report published in July, it pointed to “the accumulation of fees” weighing on the performance of contracts, “a fortiori in a low interest rate environment”. She also pointed out that the tax incentive associated with PER could make the saver forget the scale of the costs, which are decisive.

For the start of next year

To give individuals a clearer picture, the report insisted that PER distributors disclose as a percentage of outstanding amounts the total management fees, and not just the contract management fees on the one hand and the fees. support management of the other. This new information would be given before and after the subscription of the product by adding to the table of costs appearing in the appendix to the contract, “an additional column presenting an aggregate of management costs”.

This recommendation is considered “relevant” on the side of Bercy. At the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, we also welcome the fact that the PER distributors undertake to provide information on costs on the websites in order to be able to make the most of the competition.

Bercy would like savers to be able to take advantage of these information facilities “for the beginning of next year”. On the other hand, the ministry is reserved on the establishment of a public comparator mentioned by the president of the CCSF, Corinne Dromer. “Public comparators are difficult to update,” one explains to Bercy.

Second anniversary

The minister’s statements symbolically come on the eve of the second anniversary of the commercial launch of the new retirement savings plans. “It’s a spectacular success,” Bruno Le mayor defended Thursday, even if Bercy had revised downwards the 2020 figures that he had communicated to the press.

“We had fixed 3 million French people with a PER in 2022, today we have nearly 4 million French people who have a retirement savings plan”, he continued, speaking more precisely of 3.8 million of PER, half of which are individual contracts.

And to affirm that the milestone of 4 million PER and 50 billion euros in assets should be exceeded by the beginning of the year 2022. No question therefore for Bruno Le Maire to spoil what he presents as one “one of the pillars of the Pacte law, which is itself one of the economic pillars of the five-year term”.

Boursorama wants to cut prices

The minister’s injunctions for greater transparency should not arouse too much resistance from professionals. “We can obviously work to improve the presentation of the costs which are already today communicated in detail before the subscription of the contract”, declared a few weeks ago the general manager of the French federation of the insurance (FFA), Franck. Le Vallois on the CCSF report.

This has bristled some insurers. They argue that savers are already overwhelmed with information, often complex, on life insurance contracts. They also argue that competition should limit charges on PERs. The launch by Boursorama last week of a PER “at less than 1% of costs per year all inclusive”, was obviously not enough to dissuade Bercy from intervening.

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