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Danish roundup: Prime minister starts talks on early retirement pension

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Denmark’s new prime minister Mette Frederiksen is to discuss the notion of early retirement disability pensions with labour market partners including the Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH) and the Danish Employers Association (DA), her office announced.

News of the meeting, which is to take place on 8 August, follows recent debate in Denmark over whether some groups in the labour market — employees who have been working the longest and those whose jobs are labour-intensive — should be entitled to earlier retirement than others.

Frederiksen said in a statement: “Many Danes have worked hard since they were very young. It has taken its toll on body and soul. That is why we must now ensure a dignified retirement, so that everyone gets good years on a pension with time for children and grandchildren.”

Her office said that after the meeting, the prime minister would discuss with the organisations plans how to implement the proposal.

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A plan to extend coverage of the early-retirement disability pension formed part of an agreement signed in May by the then coalition government led by the Liberal Party, and the Danish People’s Party and Radical Liberal Party.

The pact involved 17,000 Danes receiving the senior pension in 2025, and the creation of a commission to examine the pros and cons of differentiated pensions.

PBU stows DKK100m in microfinance focussing on women

Danish labour market pension fund Pædagogernes Pension (PBU) is investing just over DKK100m (€13.4m) in microfinance via a fund that it said helps enable women in developing countries to influence their own futures.

The fund, called the Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI), focusses on poor people in Africa and Asia, many of whom are vulnerable women who depend on men, are unable to borrow from banks and therefore achieve independent economic standing, PBU said.

Sune Schackenfeldt, the pension fund’s chief executive, said: “The investment has a clear link to our strategy for responsible investments, where we focus on women and equality, among other things.”

PBU said the microfinance fund aims to provide small loans and simple banking, creating the basis for income-generating activities to help affected families.

The NMI’s microfinance fund supports a number of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality and the elimination of poverty, PBU said.

Lærernes Pension hunts for new CEO

Danish Teachers’ Pension Fund, Lærernes Pension, has hired local consulting firm Basico to search for its new chief executive.

Advertising the job, the fund said candidates should have at least five years of leadership experience at a high level and be confident communicators.

“Lærernes Pension puts great weight on openness,” said Lærernes Pension.

The future chief executive must understand the importance of the firm’s communication, so that it always appears proactive in this regard, and supports the needs and expectations of its members and shareholders, the fund said.

The job search began after current CEO Paul Brüniche-Olsen announced the date for his retirement as 1 October, having headed up the fund for most of its 26-year history, since 1995.

Lærernes Pension also said candidates must be able to speak and write in Danish and English fluently, and have general social knowledge and understanding. Basico said it will be receiving applications until 15 August.

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