Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD) has come out with proposals that the Nordic country’s pension assets be used to help bolster national security, for example by investing in army buildings, in light of the war in Ukraine.
The lobby group said its proposals were against the background of the “national compromise” pact agreed by Danish politicians at the beginning of March.
This is an agreement reached by the government and other parties that, because of the threat to European security, Denmark will strengthen its armed forces, increase military spending to 2% of GDP, become independent of Russian gas and abolish the country’s opt-out from EU military cooperation – with the latter subject to a referendum set for 1 June.
Kent Damsgaard, IPD’s chief executive officer, said: “It is obvious that at this serious time we should also bring pension assets into play, when we have such a huge societal task, just as we have done and are doing with the green transition.
“It could, for example, be investments in the armed forces’ many buildings and facilities,” he said.
The association said it was calling for a “completely new PPP [public-private partnership] collaboration” which supported Danish security and the strengthening of the armed forces.
“Our companies, together with contractors and suppliers, can bid with investments, experience and skills to operate and renovate the armed forces’ buildings and facilities, so the forces can free up both their efforts and money for the core tasks of looking after Denmark,” the IPD CEO said.
The pensions industry was also ready to provide financial support by buying government bonds, Damsgaard said, noting that politicians had agreed to allow some of the planned defence build-up to be financed through debt.
Another of IPD’s proposals is that the government set up an expert group to create a framework for the investments that “support democracy and peace”.
Denmark is one of several European countries moving to spend more on defence in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
The Danish defence ministry said on Thursday that NATO had requested Denmark send a battalion of 800 soldiers to Latvia to maintain the alliance’s overall defensive position in the Baltic state.
A fortnight ago, IPD made 11 concrete proposals to accelerate the green energy transition and achieve energy independence from Russia.