Sri Lanka workers against new state-controlled pension fund: poll

June 12, 2011 (LBO) – A poll by Sri Lankan weekly newspaper has found that 82 percent of the respondents were against the creation of a state-controlled pension fund with private sector workers’ money. Sri Lanka’s ruling administration has temporarily withdrawn a bill to create the controversial pension fund, after protests left one worker dead from a police shooting.

Sri Lanka already has two state-controlled retirement funds built with private sector worker money which take up to 23 percent of their monthly wages.

The influential Sunday Times newspaper said an email and street poll of 800 respondents found that 6.9 percent were undecided and 10.6 percent for such a scheme.

The newspaper said comments by respondents showed there was deep distrust about state management of their moneys.

“I do not trust the government (or any government) to manage a pension fund for the private sector,” the newspaper quoted one respondent as saying. “Slowly they are trying to grab our money,” said another.

The Central Bank which manages the EPF also manages the debt for the government, creating a conflict of interest.

In the past, two funds, the Employees Provident Fund and Employees Trus