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Danish roundup: Pension providers see uptick in contributions

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Danish pension fund PFA, the country’s largest commercial pensions provider, saw contributions increase by 13% in the first three months of this year.

CEO Allan Pollack said the business strategy he spearheaded was on track: “After the fantastic annual results in 2016, I am satisfied that, in accordance with our Stategy2020, we are continuing to grow in 2017.”

Strategy2020 has been developed under Pollack’s leadership since he took the top position at PFA two years ago.

Total contributions rose to DKK8.6bn (€1.16bn) in the first quarter of 2017, up from DKK7.6bn in the same period last year. Total return on investments was DKK7.2bn in the quarter.

The return for customers with traditional average-rate pension products was 0.7%, and between 1.7% and 5.2% for those with market-rate products, including the return on the mutual savings element CustomerCapital.

Pollack said that, on top of the investment and business growth seen in the first quarter, the company was streamlining operations and reducing the cost per person insured by 2%.

Group CFO Anders Damgaard said the financial markets had taken off from the beginning of the year.

“Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that pension savings should be seen in a long-term perspective, where long-term returns are crucial,” he said.

PFA’s total customer funds rose to DKK449bn at the end of March from DKK394bn at the same point last year.

Danica sees strong inflows across Nordics

Meanwhile, Danica Pension – Denmark’s second biggest commercial pension provider – reported growth in contributions of 38% in the first quarter, to DKK11.4bn.

Per Klitgård, chief executive of Danica Pension, said: “The increase in the first three months of the year is down to solid results in investment and growth in contributions in the three countries where we are represented.”

In Denmark, contributions rose by 27%, while in Norway the increase was 30%. In Sweden, contributions increased by 70%, the Danske Bank subsidiary reported.

Klitgård said customers had benefitted from the investment strategy Danica Pension had used over the past two years.

“Getting the best possible repayment for risk has been – and will continue to be – the key words when we invest,” he said.

The return on market-rate pensions was 3.6% in the first quarter, up from a 1.3% loss for the same period the year before. For traditional average-rate pensions, however, the quarter produced no return (0%), after 3.8% in the first quarter of 2016.

Danica Pension’s total pensions assets increased to DKK409bn at the end of March from DKK390bn at the same point last year.

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