Bank of Lithuania (BoL), the country’s central bank and pensions regulator, has become the 76th governing member, and the first from a Baltic state, to join the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), the independent body representing pensions supervisors worldwide.
On the BoL website, Vilius Šapoka, director of the Financial Services and Markets Supervision Department of the Supervision Service, said: “Membership in the IOPS will encourage a more productive and closer cooperation with institutions of other countries carrying out the supervision of pension schemes, enable more efficient implementation of the international good practices, provide an opportunity to present for international partners the developments in the supervision of Lithuania’s pension funds and discuss the issues of pension fund supervision relevant for Lithuania.”
In other news, SEB Investicijų Valdymas (SEB Wealth Management), the asset management subsidiary of Swedish owned SEB Bankas, has signed a third-pillar pensions contract with IT and telecommunications company Teo LT.
The programme, “Save with Teo,” is reportedly the largest such contract in the Baltic region over the last five years.
It brings the number of SEB’s corporate pensions contracts in Lithuania to 87.
Employees with a minimum one-year service will be able to sign up to one of the two SEB third-pillar funds of their choice.
While Teo will pay a monthly defined contribution, members will also be able to top up their account from their own wages.
Teo, the former state-owned telecoms operator now majority owned by the Swedish-Finnish conglomerate TeliaSonera, has around 2,000 employees.
The contract will significantly boost the Lithuanian third pillar, which at the end of 2014 had some 39,900 members (primarily in individually arranged schemes) and assets of €47.5m.
Around 1,100 primarily foreign-owned companies in Lithuania have arranged pension plans, either third-pillar funds or unit-linked investment contracts offered by insurance companies, for some 5,500 employees.
The insurance products remain the most popular.
SEB Wealth also runs voluntary corporate pension schemes for two TeliaSonera subsidiaries in Latvia.
Its contract with its first pension fund customer there, LMT, dates back 15 years.
Since 2012, it has had a life insurance agreement with endowments for the Lattelecom Group.