FINLAND - Paavo Pitkänen, the former president and chief executive of Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co., has retired from the company.

“Paavo Pitkänen has retired from his job today,” said an official at the firm. Varma is Finland’s largest earnings-related pension insurer.

Matti Vuoria succeeded Pitkänen in the role in June this year. He joined Varma at the beginning of 2004 as an executive vice president. Before that he was chairman of Fortum Corp. From 1992 to 1998 he was permanent secretary to the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Last month Varma stated its market value had risen to 20.3 billion euros at the end of June, from 18.5 billion euros at the end of 2003. The return on investment fell to 3.3% in the first half, from 4.1% in the same period in 2003.

Equities retuned 7.1%, bonds 1.8%, loans 2.2% and real estate 3.3%. It said its allocation to fixed income decreased to 52.3%, from 56%. Equity allocation rose to 26.5% from 24.1%.

The company, which pays pensions to 285,000 people and paid out 1.4 billion euros in the first half, said: “The Finnish pension reform that enters into force in 2005 means significant investments for Varma in the development of expertise and information systems.”