Friday, August 24, 2007

BT AEGON Receives Authorization to Launch New Private Pension Fund in Romania

Press Release

Friday August 24, 8:01 am ET

CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania, August 24 /PRNewswire/ -- BT AEGON, a joint venture between Banca Transilvania and AEGON, has received authorization to launch VITAL, its new privately administered pension fund. The company is one of the first in Romania to receive such authorization from Romania's CSSPP, the body overseeing implementation of the country's new mandatory privately run pension system.

BT AEGON will begin offering private pensions to customers in Romania from September 17th. AEGON and Banca Transilvania agreed to establish BT AEGON earlier this year. Based in Cluj-Napoca in north-western Romania, the joint venture has a share capital of approximately EUR 7 million. BT AEGON was officially registered as a pension fund administrator last June. VITAL's prospectus setting out its full range of pension products and services has also been formally approved by the CSSPP.

Silvia Sirb, CEO of BT AEGON, said: "Completing the authorization process is a very important step for us. We are now focusing our efforts on establishing and expanding our sales network through Banca Transilvania, BT Asigurari and pension brokers, setting up new IT systems and strengthening back-office support. We want to play a role in helping the country introduce the new, mandatory private pension funds and are now in a position to do so. We would like to become an important player in this market and will offer our customers excellent service and good investment performance. With the help of strong and reliable partners, BT AEGON is ready to start selling and to make a success of VITAL, our new private pension product."

BT AEGON combines the pension expertise and financial strength of AEGON and the strong brand and distribution reach of Banca Transilvania.

For AEGON, the partnership with Banca Transilvania represents another important step in expanding its businesses in Central and Eastern Europe. A leading provider of pensions in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, AEGON currently has operations in five countries in the region - Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. At present, AEGON's pension funds in Central and Eastern Europe number 1.2 million customers.

The partnership with AEGON, meanwhile, will further strengthen Banca Transilvania's leading position in the Romanian market. It will also enable Banca Transilvania to establish itself in the country's rapidly-growing market for pensions as well as extend its current broad range of financial products and services.

Under Romania's new, reformed pension system, all employees aged 35 and under will be required to sign up to a mandatory privately administered pension fund by mid-January next year. Employees aged between 35 and 45 may also sign up, but their participation will not be compulsory. The new private pension funds are intended as a complement to Romania's existing state pension system. Subscriptions to the new funds will open on September 17th.

As part of this new system, employees in Romania will contribute 2 percent of their gross salary to a private pension fund. This 2 percent will rise by 0.5 percentage points each year over the next eight years, reaching 6 percent by 2016. Authorities have made it clear that contributions will be taken from the 9.5 percent that is already deducted from employees' gross salaries, in part to fund Romania's existing state pension.

About Banca Transilvania

Since 1994, when it was established, Banca Transilvania has grown into one of Romania's leading financial services companies. Currently, it has more than 400 branches across the country and employs over 5,200 people. As measured by total assets, Banca Transilvania is one of Romania's five largest commercial banks. In 1997, it became the first Romanian financial services company to be listed on the Bucharest stock exchange. Banca Transilvania offers a wide range of products and services to individuals, small and medium-sized business and large corporations.


AEGON is one of the world's largest life insurance and pension companies, and a strong provider of investment products. AEGON empowers local business units to identify and provide products and services that meet the evolving needs of customers, using distribution channels best suited to local markets. AEGON takes pride in balancing a local approach with the power of an expanding global operation.

With headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, AEGON companies employ approximately 29,000 people worldwide. AEGON's businesses serve millions of customers in over twenty markets throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, with major operations in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Respect, quality, transparency and trust constitute AEGON's core values as the company continually strives to meet the expectations of customers, shareholders, employees and business partners. AEGON is driven to deliver new thinking with the ambition to be the best in the industry.

For further information please contact:

Zoltan Kelemen
Marketing Specialist
Tel.: +40-264-302-238

Banca Transilvania

Anca Rarau
Maketing Manager
Laura Petrehus
Senior PR Officer
Tel.: +40-264-407-150

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