Government’s capital requirements threat to pensions

The government wants to go further than the EU when it comes to capital requirements for some occupational pension insurance plans. This could worsen the returns, by up to 20 per cent, for those who choose safer alternatives with guaranteed returns, write Anna Falck from the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket), Lena Emanuelsson chair of Saco-S, Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, Åsa Erba-Stenhammar head of negotiations at the Public Employees’ Negotiation Council (OFR) and Helen Thornberg from the Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees (Seko).

The EU’s occupational pension directive is to be implemented in Swedish law. The four welcome that the government is going to introduce an independent regulation for service pension companies. However, they believe it is difficult to motivate going further than other countries.

They want the rules to be formed so that the current traffic light system remains at the same level. Occupational pensions are not only essential for individual pensioners but also for society and the creation of capital in society through long-term saving.

Constructive meeting with Malta

Sweden and Malta are to work together on the criminal investigation into Falcon Funds, the pension company suspected of having defrauded billions from Swedish pension savers.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Arne Fors was in The Hague to discuss the criminal investigation with representatives from Malta. Over a billion kronor of pension savings is still missing since the Swedish Pensions Agency reported the fund company Falcon Funds in October.

Arne Fors called it a “constructive meeting” and investigators in Sweden and Malta have a fairly similar view of events in the Malta-registered pension company and which individuals are suspected, according to the prosecutor.

However the Swedish Economic Crime Authority is still waiting for important account statements from Malta that are needed to be able to trace the missing funds.

Government considering scrapping PPM

The government wants to redesign the premium pension system, and may even consider scrapping it. Yesterday Prime Minister Stefan Löfven referenced the Falcon Funds scandal in December 2015 while making it clear that the system needed to change.

However Social Security Minister Annika Strandhäll says the government respects the pension agreement and that any changes require agreement from the alliance parties. “We must do what should have been done a long time ago. Criminal elements should not be able to grow rich on Sweden’s pension savers,” she says.

The alliance parties have rejected scrapping the PPM system but agree that tougher rules are needed.