Norway’s biggest municipal pensions provider saw increased demand for defined contribution (DC) pensions among corporate clients in the first three months of the year.

Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) set up 80 new contracts in the first quarter, it said.

Commenting in its Q1 results statement, the pension fund said: “KLP aims to be a sound provider for these customers… and is pleased that more and more customers are choosing KLP for their defined contribution pension schemes.”

Alongside the 80 new corporate DC customers, the fund said 3,286 pension capital certificates had also been transferred to the company in the period.

KLP reported a 1.7% value-adjusted return on customer funds between January and March, and said strong return from equities was the major contributor to the 2017 result to date.

Sverre Thornes, KLP’s chief executive, said: “The good result enables us to maintain a lower level of premium than the current very low interest rates would indicate.”

The company, whose total assets grew to NOK612bn (€65.3bn) by the end of March from NOK596bn at the end of December, said it had “stable underlying growth” in its premium reserves.

The solvency ratio rose to 214% during the quarter, from 209%, according to the interim figures.

KLP said the ongoing municipal and regional reform in Norway might affect its customer base, and that it was following the situation closely.