(Bloomberg) -- Colombian President Gustavo Petro called on congress to eliminate a controversial fee on pension fund assets. 

The leftist leader said in a post on X that the charge of as much as 0.7% is excessive, and added that any fees should be levied on returns rather than on assets under management. 

Lawmakers added the fee to the pension bill last week, and the measure was approved by the senate on Tuesday. It will now pass to the lower house for further debate, and Petro said representatives there should remove it. 

“The fee to private pension fund managers that savers pay and will pay must be much lower,” Petro said. 

Colombians currently pay an upfront fee on contributions to so-called obligatory pension funds, but don’t pay an annual charge thereafter. The private pension fund association Asofondos said fund managers need the new fee to replace lost revenue as the pension reform moves more people out of the private system and into the one managed by the state. 

Colombia’s private funds currently have more than 19 million clients and about $104 billion under management. Asofondos estimates that the new fee would applied to assets worth $49 billion.

If the bill were to pass in its current form, the government would manage around 70% of all worker contributions, while private pension funds would receive the rest.

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