Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has appealed a decision made by the Swedish Pensions Agency to reject it from the country’s Premium Pensions System (PPM).
The asset manager lodged its appeal on 22 July, having had investment funds run via its Luxembourg subsidiary rejected on 12 June, according to information on the Pensions Agency’s website.
The decision to refuse ASI’s application affects nine funds with a total of €179m in assets under management. All privately-managed funds offered on the PPM’s funds marketplace platform were required to reapply for participation by late last year as part of recent reforms of the defined contribution section of the country’s first-pillar pension system.
A spokesman from ASI told IPE: “We are appealing to the Administrative Court in order to have the Swedish Pension Agency consider our revised application based on the new and completed set of applications and documentation.
“A number of asset managers have had their applications turned down. We note administrative errors that were made in our application and intend to correct them.”
The spokesman added that ASI was supportive of the new qualitative and quantitative measures brought in by the Pensions Agency to evaluate funds and managers, and it hoped to resolve the rejection in order to continue to grow its business within the platform.
Meanwhile, Swedish pensions expert Mats Langensjö, a key player in the development of the system’s reform, took the opportunity to speak out in support of the planned second stage of the PPM reform, which would involve the creation of a centrally-procured offering of investment funds from private-sector providers.
In a post on Linkedin, Langensjö – a partner at Secoria – said: “One of the problems with ‘stage 1’ in the Premium Pension is precisely that it rests partly on administrative law and not on qualitative criteria, which are relevant for long-term pension savings.
“Entering the platform via the administrative court is not a meaningful activity. A good ‘stage 2’ is needed to give savers a good and relevant alternative. The state has that responsibility.”
The first stage of the reform, which involves a mass re-application process for asset managers, was intended to tackle the problem of low-quality providers and rogue players.