DENMARK - Boosted by one-off transfers, PFA Pension saw contributions rise by a fifth in 2010 to DKK18.5bn (€2.5bn) - the highest level reported by one company in the Danish pensions market last year.

The investment return rose 4.2 percentage points to 20.2%, while net profit increased by DKK99m to DKK448mn. All figures are for the PFA Group.

Group chief executive and president Henrik Heideby said the results were highly satisfactory.
"We generated a very high investment return that, in combination with low costs, will benefit the customers in the shape of larger savings," he said.
"At the same time, new customers meant contributions increased heavily."

PFA is one of Denmark's biggest commercial pension providers and differs from rivals by being customer-owned.

Contributions rose 20% to DKK18.5bn in 2010 from DKK15.4bn in 2009.
This was a record level for PFA and also put it ahead of the competition for the year.

PFA said it was the pension company with the highest payments on the Danish market in 2010, both when measured in total payments and in regular payments.

The growth in contributions was due to single payments from new customers, as well as the transfer of two large pension funds to PFA. Regular contributions were broadly flat at DKK12.5bn after DKK12.6bn in 2009.

Total assets rose 18.6% to DKK299.2bn from DKK252.9bn, while capital adequacy climbed to 185% from 173%.

Within the total contributions figure, contributions to unit-link pension plans more than doubled to DKK3.9bn in 2010, PFA said.
The net return for traditional with-profits plans - which represent the bulk of customer money - rose to 7.6% before pension yield tax.
Meanwhile, market-link plans returned between 10% and 20%, depending on the risk profile and number of years to retirement. This compares with a range of 15.5-28.5% for 2009.

Looking ahead, PFA said it expected good business opportunities now that it was able to offer asset management to institutional investors, organisations and funds.

In 2010, the company set up new investment units including PFA Kapitalforvaltning (PFA Asset Management), which it said had led to a reduction in prices for its customers and provided an outsourcing service.

PFA also launched new insurance and pension products for private customers in 2010 through its partnership with Letpension - an adviser network with country-wide representation in financial institutions and branch offices.
Sales through Letpension totalled DKK1bn, PFA said, even though product development and technology had been the main priority last year. It said that served as a basis for "great optimism" for 2011.