UK - ATP, Denmark's largest pension fund, is planning to move into the UK market, offering a low-cost pension platform that could rival the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

Morten Nilsson, who is the scheme's head of international operations based in London, told IPE the strategy was still in the planning phase, but that a realistic timetable for launch would be late 2011.

He said the product would be similar to ATP's low-cost range in Denmark and probably include carefully designed default products.

Nilsson said: "We believe in taking responsibility for members on how to invest, and that means good default solutions. That being said, some people want to have some kind of control, and they should have it."

He added that most options would differ from what was currently available and be risk-based.

Nilsson said the new scheme would work very closely with ATP's in-house asset management team, suggesting the funds could be managed internally from Denmark.

Asked if passive would be the preferred management method due to cost advantage, he said: "Cheap is not necessarily good - cost-efficient is good."

NEST has opted for most of its initial mandates to be managed passively in a bid to reduce costs. The scheme will level an annual management charge of 0.3%.

Nilsson said: "It would very easy to offer some very, very cheap funds, but they wouldn't secure stable returns in the long run."

He added that while a low-return outcome was not in the members' interest, neither was simply "burning" money on overly complex products.

ATP initially bid for the contract to administer NEST, but eventually pulled out as it was unhappy with the risk/return balance proposed, as well as the number of likely participants.

The 10-year contract was eventually awarded to Tata Consulting Services, at a time when the company was the only one left bidding.