17 companies have officially started on Monday the fight for over three milion employees who are due to choose a compulsory private pension fund in the next four months. The stake: 2% of the total social security contribution of 9.5% that each employee pays monthly will go directly to private companies.

All legally hired employees aged 18-35 are forced to opt for one of the privately managed pension funds active in Romania.

An army of some 250,000 marketing agents will try to lure people to the services of the companies they represent.

To join one such private pension fund, an employee does not need to pay extra money. Out of the 9.5% of the contribution to the state pension system, 2% will be redirected towards the chosen private pension fund. The percent will increase annually by 0.5% in the next eight years up to a maximum of 6%.

To join a fund, one just needs to sign a form.

The private pension administration funds were initially authorized by the commission supervising the private pensions system.

However, those who fail to choose one within the deadline (September 17 - January 17) will be automatically redirected by a computer to one of an arbitrarily chosen fund.

Currently, there are 17 companies administrating such funds on the market.

These are: ING Fond de Pensii, Aviva Societate de Administrare a unui Fond de Pensii Privat, Allianz-Tiriac Pensii Private, Omniasig Pensii, Interamerican Societate de Administrare a unui Fond de Pensii Privat, Prima Pensie Fond de Pensii, AIG Fond de Pensii, BT Aegon Fond de Pensii, Generali Fond de Pensii, BRD Fond de Pensii, OTP Fond de Pensii SA, BCR Administrare Fond de Pensii, Bancpost

Fond de Pensii, KD Fond de Pensii, AG2R Fond de Pensii, Marfin Fond de Pensii si MKB Romexterra Fond de Pensii.