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What changed for pensions in Mexico at the end of 2020

The main function of the National Commission of the Retirement Savings System (Consar) is to regulate the Retirement Savings System (SAR), which is made up of individual accounts in the name of the workers who manage the Afore.

The Consar is empowered to impose fines on the Afores and sanctions on their employees in the event of non-compliance. Below are the main actions carried out by the SAR in 2020.

In 2020, voluntary savings were 122,766 million pesos, 29.1% more than in 2019. Photo: Reformation.

Pension system

The reform of the pension system was approved and some articles of the Social Security Law and one of the Retirement Savings Systems Law were modified. These modifications allowed for an increase in employer contributions, a reduction in the requirement of weeks contributed, an increase in the amount of the guaranteed pension and a reduction in the commissions charged by the Afore.

Commissions charged by Afore

The simple average of the authorized commissions for 2021 is 0.808%, a decrease of 12.4%. The average commission of the system has been reduced from 1.01% in 2018 to 0.808% by 2021.

Limits on costs paid by the Afore and passed on to workers

The amount of the brokerage commissions that the Administrators transfer to the SAR account holders has been limited.

Resources managed by the Afore

The managed resources of workers grew 14.6% compared to 2019, going from 3,996 billion pesos to 4,722 billion pesos. These resources represent 20.4% of GDP.

Investment regime

Since the SAR began its operations, savers have obtained net income from commissions of 2.459 billion pesos, this is 53% of the total accumulated savings in the individual accounts of the workers. For each peso of tripartite contributions to individual workers’ accounts, the Afore have contributed an additional weight.

In 2020 the contributions to the workers’ accounts were 221 billion pesos and the returns on their accounts were 552.6 billion pesos.

At the end of 2020:

The SIEFORE have invested 100,324 million pesos in financing for the energy sector. Financing for the productive activity of the private sector amounted to 1,409,129 million pesos. The balance of financing for investment in infrastructure via private debt instruments and other instruments was 439,370 million pesos. The balance of financing for roads and bridges was 90,337 million pesos. The balance of the investment in the national stock market was 255,373 million pesos, and the resources allocated to public offerings were 27,791 million pesos.

Voluntary savings

In 2020, voluntary savings were 122,766 million pesos, 29.1% more than in 2019. Regarding financial inclusion, the points of receipt of voluntary savings are more than 16 thousand. Workers can already save in pharmacies, miscellaneous, grocery stores, stationery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, Telecom and in branches of Banco del Bienestar. Mexicans living in the United States can also save for retirement through new financial transfer schemes. The GanAhorro tool in AforeMóvil, allows the voluntary savings of workers to increase with the consumption of products. There are 14,699 users and 1 million 99 thousand pesos have been transferred.

Normativity

a) Investment of workers’ savings

The new savings investment regime for workers in Generational Siefores came into operation. Regulation regarding the governance of investments made by Siefores in structured instruments and derivatives was strengthened. New guidelines were established for the advertising of the Afore, to avoid that the information on returns is confusing or misleading for the account holders.

b) Operational functions

Procedures in the SAR were simplified: the Transfer Implications Certificate (CIT) was replaced by a new Transfer Consent Folio (FCT), so that savers can change the administrator without the intervention of promoter agents or the Afore. 27.3 million Mexicans already have their Electronic Identification File in the SAR, and 24.6 million include biometric elements. As of February 2021, savers will be able to change Afore through the AforeMóvil application, using their smartphones, without having to request a Transfer Consent Folio. Savers’ procedures are intended to be entirely digital, by mobile phone or through a specialized Internet portal. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, since March 2020 the Consar took measures to guarantee the execution of essential activities of the Afore. Some deadlines for the attention of the participants in the SARs were suspended. In March 2020, Consar agreed with the Afore that unemployment retirements be paid to SAR savers in a single installment, instead of installments. In 2020, more than 1.7 million account holders made unemployment withdrawals. The amount of the withdrawals was 20,060 million pesos.

Financial education and inclusion programs

In coordination with the Digital Strategy of the Presidency, two campaigns were carried out for financial education and inclusion: « GanAhorro », which promoted voluntary savings as a reward program that provides voluntary savings in exchange for the purchase of various consumer products, and  » Take care of your Afore account ”, to emphasize that retirement is a contingency that can be prevented by saving. The number of products of the GanAhorro program was increased, which allows Afore Móvil users to accumulate voluntary savings at no cost when they make purchases through this program. The Consar entered into an agreement with the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education to introduce young people to retirement savings through Fintech applications. Financial education has also been promoted through the AforeMóvil application, which last December registered 5,654,041 downloads. Consar, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Yastás formed an alliance to design behavioral economics mechanisms, to encourage voluntary savings. Consar and the Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud formalize a financial education collaboration agreement aimed at young people. The section for migrants on Consar’s Internet page was designed, which will allow Mexicans abroad to consult information on the procedures and services related to the Afore Account and the programs implemented by Consar and other institutions in support of the nationals.

More information in our Retirement Section.