Norway’s KLP gains 185 new clients

NORWAY – Mutually owned Norwegian life insurer KLP says it gained a total of 171 new public enterprise and 14 new corporate pension plan clients in 2003.

Kommunal Landspensjonskasse added: “The competitive situation in pension insurance appears to have stabilised.” But the effect of the plan transfers would not appear on the balance sheet until 2004.

It also said that it would put its planned conversion into a limited company to its ruling bodies this year.

KLP, which provides funded public pension schemes for municipalities and regional authorities, said its net financial income in 2003 totalled 9.2 billion crowns (1.05 billion euros) – up from just over three billion crowns in 2002. The result for 2003 was 2.4 billion crowns – providing a value adjusted return of 8.2%.

“This gives KLP financial strength and competitive power,” KLP said. Assets rose by almost 14 billion crowns to 126.4 billion crowns. The equity proportion has risen to 8.5% from 4.4%.

“The changes in the composition of investments undertaken in 2002/2003 has proved successful,” said group chief executive Bjørn Kristoffersen.

“KLP has had much better returns than in the previous years. Over time the strategy is enabling KLP to provide stable, good and secure returns for pension clients.”

The insurer saw a positive impact from a change in legislation for municipal pension schemes that came in at the start of this year.

“Combined with the significant improvement in profits the new regulations for public service pensions will give KLP a good basis for success in the future. The new rules call for a premium system that treats women, men, young and old equally.

Kristoffersen added: “The company's financial position has improved and KLP's pension product acts as a model for the whole insurance industry. This means that KLP is well equipped to face competition in the market.

KLP pays pensions to about 130,000 pensioners and paid out about five billion crowns last year.

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