New proposals aimed at improving the Swedish Premium Pension System (PPM) include requiring individuals to re-evaluate their fund choice every seven years – a change its committee says could mean up to SEK380bn (€39.6bn) flowing to the system’s default provider AP7.
Inflows of this size would more than double the assets currently managed by AP7, the seventh national pension fund. It reported assets of SEK283bn at the end of June 2016.
The Premium Pensions Committee, led by Patric Thomsson, former director in the Swedish finance ministry, submitted its report yesterday, 26 September, to the Minister for Financial Markets, Per Bolund.
It had been tasked two years ago with investigating how the system could be changed to give better results for savers.
The main change announced by the commission is the renewal of savers’ evaluation choices every seven years as one of the steps aimed at increasing the likelihood more people will get a better premium pension.
The committee said its overall assessment was that it was possible to give people better outcomes without having to restrict the freedom of those who so wish to choose from a variety of asset managers and funds.
It is proposing that new contributions be directed straight to AP7’s Såfa balanced default option. Savers would then be informed that the funds could be invested via any of the other management models, either by AP7 or through funds in the PPM fund marketplace.
The rules for savers would come into force on 1 July 2017, according to the report.
As for existing pension savers with funds already invested, the committee recommends the introduction of regular evaluation choices every seven years.
Those who do not register any choice should – after a reminder – have their entire premium pension capital transferred to the default option, according to the report.
The rule change for existing savers would enter into force on 1 January 2019, with a special transitional arrangement for pension savers who received their first pension benefits before 1 January 2012, according to the report.
Thomsson said: “It is reasonable to require an active stance on a regular basis on the part of those who take the ‘own portfolio’ or ‘risk portfolio’ route.”
In its report, the commission quantified the asset shift from the PPM fund of funds marketplace to AP7 that could occur as a result of its proposed changes.
“Taking into account the volume of capital currently managed within the framework of the ‘own portfolio’ management model – from the fund-of-funds marketplace to AP7 around SEK580bn – and other investigations carried out into, among other things, pension saver behaviour, we believe this can be expected to lead to a significant transfer of capital from the funds within the own portfolio model to funds managed by AP7 Såfa,” the report said.
The commission said it estimated between SEK100bn and SEK380bn divided among 600,000 to 2.3m individuals would be transferred as a result of the changes.