10 October 2008

Chilean Pension Funds Suffer Worst Declines Since Asia Crisis

By Nathan Gill
     Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Chile's pension funds have suffered
their worst losses this year since the Asian financial crisis of
a decade ago, Alejandro Charme, the country's superintendent of
pensions, said.
     All of Chile's pension funds have dropped, with the
``riskiest'' plans suffering losses of about 25 percent this year
through Sept. 30, Charme said. Plans with the ``least risk'' lost
0.2 percent of their value.
     ``The last crisis of this sort was in 1998,'' Charme told
reporters at a conference in Santiago. He advised Chileans not to
withdraw their funds and said it would be ``prudent'' for those
nearing retirement to postpone that decision.
     Chile's pension funds represent about 10 percent of the
value of the country's main index.
     The Ipsa index fell 7.5 percent to 2,037.47 at 12:37 p.m.
New York time and was poised for the steepest weekly decline
since it began in 1989, according to Bloomberg data.