Denmark – home to one of Europe’s most highly-rated pension systems – will add its muscle to the continent’s main collective lobbying group at the beginning of next year, after PensionsEurope approved Insurance & Pension Denmark’s (IPD) application for membership.

The European body said it hoped other new members would join from countries it was missing – specifically Central and Eastern European nations.

PensionsEurope, the Brussels-based umbrella group for national pension fund industry associations, said its board of directors took the decision to admit IPD on Wednesday.

Janwillem Bouma, chair of PensionsEurope, said: “I am delighted that Insurance & Pension Denmark have joined PensionsEurope.

“Denmark is a strong multi-pillar pension country where funded pensions play an important role,” he said.

Bouma said European policies and increasing regulation had an impact on pensions.

Kent Damsgaard, IPD’s chief executive officer, said “Pensions policy is becoming increasingly important in the EU and consequently we believe that PensionsEurope has an even greater role to play in the future.”

Danish pension providers are incorporated as life insurance companies, and IPD has long been a member of lobby group Insurance Europe.

IPD’s members represent about 80 insurance and pension funds in the Danish market, PensionsEurope said, adding that Danish pension funds holding more than €500bn in investments at home and abroad.

Matti Leppälä, PensionsEurope’s secretary general, said that in IPD, his organisation was gaining a very strong new member, and that PensionsEurope would now cover all Nordic countries, which was important for the lobby group’s actions at the European level.

“PensionsEurope aims to include all countries in Europe, and we hope to be able to welcome in the future new members from those Central and Eastern European countries we are still missing,” he said.

While PensionsEurope includes industry organisations in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Croatia among its full members, seven Central and Eastern European EU member states are as yet absent from the list – Czechia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Denmark’s pension system was one of only three to gain the top “A” rating in the latest annual Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index published a fortnight ago.

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