FINLAND - The Neste Oil pension fund is employing its larger pensions colleague Ilmarinen Mutual Pensions Insurance Company to manage its statutory occupational pensions and portfolio from next year.

The €640m defined benefit pension scheme is currently listed as the 16th largest pension fund in Finland, according IPE's Top 1000 2009, however, the firm has announced Ilmarinen - with the second-largest pension fund in Finland - will take on the liabilities of its statutory fund as well as its assets from 1 April 2010.

The actual sum of assets involved only amounts to €310m at this stage, as the firm also has a supplementary pension scheme for employees who joined prior to 1994, and a decision as to whether this will also be transferred to a mutual insurer has yet to be made.

Officials at the oil refinery company said the possibility of a second transfer is being investigated and in all cases any transfer has to be approved by Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) and the Finnish Competition Authority.

Neste Oil said the transfer will not affect the "level or scope of pension cover" provided to its 3,370 staff and retirees who are currently members of the scheme.

This is just the latest in a line of outsourcing deals to hit the Finnish pensions market, and follows earlier comments from the industry suggesting the growth of outsourcing would make corporate pension provision "extinct". (See earlier IPE story: Finnish railways pension follows outsourcing track)

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