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​Booming Swedish economy boosts inflows for pension providers

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Contributions to Swedish occupational pension providers increased by 17% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to figures published by Swedish industry association Svensk Forsäkring.

Of the country’s main providers, Folksam and Alecta increased their market share over the period, while Skandia and AMF experienced decreases, the data showed.

The three largest funds – Folksam, Skandia and Alecta – accounted for 38% of premiums paid annually, as of 31 March.

Martin Solberger, quantitative analyst at Svensk Försäkring, said: “There are several reasons why occupational pensions are growing strongly. Provisions for the occupational pension system have increased, in many contract areas.”

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According to the report, premium payments to occupational pension schemes grew by 12% over the past year across the board, or by SEK18bn (€1.7bn) in absolute terms.

Within this, inflows to collectively agreed occupational pension schemes using Sweden’s online pension centre, known as Valcentralen, increased by 17% or just over SEK10bn. For those schemes outside the election centre system, contributions rose 9%, or just over SEK2bn.

The association attributed the rise in part to the increase in provisions for the occupational pension system, which was due to stronger economic conditions boosting the rate of employment and the total wage bill in Sweden.

Svensk Försäkring also said, however, that Swedes were earning more and entering the higher pension contribution bracket of 30% of salary or higher, instead of 4.5%.

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