DENMARK – The Danish Insurance Association says the second and third pillars of Denmark’s pensions system should be developed by the market and that the country’s “robust” system must not be unbalanced by rash changes.

“The Danish pension system is robust in terms of welfare policy in relation to the future requirements it is going to meet,” the association says in its annual report for 2002. “But we have to think twice before proposing changes that could disturb or destroy the balance and the welfare policy functionality of an otherwise well-functioning three-pillar system.”

It says adjustments and the development in the private pensions market in the second and third pillars of the system “should be left to the market itself”.

“It would be unacceptable to society if a large part of the population opted out of pension schemes and did not secure themselves through insurance and savings,” it added. It sees the way forward is through a required level of pre-retirement savings – which would involve a “certain level of compulsion imposed by the group on the individual”.

The report cites the life and pensions market as announcing total contributions to life insurance companies and pension funds were at a record high of 60 million kroner (8.06 million euros) in 2001.