DENMARK – The Danish watchdog has reprimanded labour-market pension fund Sampension for giving customers apparently personalised pension figures that were in fact generic.
The Danish FSA (Finanstilsynet) said Sampension's actions were contrary to good practice and gave the fund an official order (Påbud) to ensure it adhered to the principles in future.
In 2009, Sampension sent out a letter to a large group of customers.
The FSA said the company had formulated the letter in such a way that customers thought it was a personal recommendation, based on an individual assessment of each customer's situation.
Sampension's letter was accompanied by a leaflet entitled: "Your personal data".
This had included impact calculations to help the customer decide whether or not to switch from one pension product to another.
Annette Bjaalund Andersen, head of section at the FSA, said: "The decision states that letters should not create the impression of being an assessment of the individual customer's position, if the pension fund has not undertaken a concrete, individual assessment itself."
The regulator also warned Sampension that a reduction in coverage – such as a lack of partner's pension as a result of a change in plan – must be given a prominent position in customer letters.
The FSA's investigation followed a complaint from the partner of a scheme member who had chosen shortly before their death to switch to the 3 i 1 Livspension (3-in-1 Lifelong pension), after reading information from Sampension.
Unlike the customer's original pension plan, the new pension product did not include a partner's pension.