SWEDEN - Länsförsäkringar, Swedbank and Skandia have been informed they will no longer be eligible to manage occupational pensions within the ITP system in Sweden.

They share the same fate as Moderna Pension & Liv and SPP as they too will no longer be on the roster of managers providing defined contribution pensions services to white collar worker members of the ITP scheme from 1 July 2010. (See earlier IPE stories: Sweden's Moderna is latest to lose its ITP slot and SPP to withdraw from Sweden's ITP system)

Collectum, the administrator, said it will not comment on its work and the recent tender process until January 19, when it reveals the full list of managers selected for the next three-year mandate period.

The five companies have all expressed surprise and disappointment, particularly as they do not seem to have received any explanation as to why they have dropped.

Similarly, companies are concerned that members will be required to absorb additional costs within their pension plans as the Collectum decisions will force these members to choose different providers.

Johannes Wingborg, head of pensions for collective agreements at Länsförsäkringar's pensions business unit, said the firm had been notified by Collectum that they would no longer be eligible as a fund provider, although it remains a provider for insurance products within the system.

Per-Erik Gullnäs, chief executive of Swedbank Försäkring, said he believed the company's bid was competitive but felt the investment predictions presented to Collectum may be the deciding factor in whether firms are selected to provide pension plans.

Bo Ågren, head of Skandia Link, also expressed his surprise at the decision as Skandia is thought to have been one of the most popular pension providers since new ITP regime was unveiled in 2007.

Ågren said he is now concerned for the tens of thousands of individuals who had chosen Skandia at an earlier date as they will be forced to select another provider without receiving any financial advice.

"There is a risk that they will end up in unsuitable solutions because of ignorance, which is regrettable," he claimed.

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