The Finnish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has set up a working group to look at competition elements between pension institutions in the country.
Tarmo Pukkila, director general of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs’ insurance department and chair of the newly appointed working group, comments: “ The new working group will have its first meeting by the end of November and sub-groups will be formed to look at the process in more detail.”
The group has until the end of 2001 to reach its conclusions.
At present it is financially difficult in Finalnd for a company to set up a new pension fund, as switching assets from a pension insurance company to a new fund is not possible.
As a result pension funds have to be set up from scratch.
“The basic idea of the working group is to enforce the efficiency of the pension institutions by stepping up competition. One of the main questions is the switching of assets from one institution to another, and the setting up of new funds and foundations,” says Esa Swanljung, managing director of the Federation of Employment Pension Institutions.
In order to keep the institutions on their toes, freedom of movement needs to be easy, according to Swanljung: “ There is a proposal that companies could move their assets from one institution to another more than once a year, which is the case at the moment, though they would not be allowed to go back and forth between two institutions more than once a year.”
“Another important thing is to obtain and produce information in an internationally comparable way, so that the operation of Finnish institutions can be assessed accordingly.”