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​Reprieve for Swedish pension firms as government delays reform

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The Swedish government has announced a four-month delay to the planned establishment of an authority to oversee the final part of its reform of the premium pension system.

The planned new authority is now scheduled to begin operations on 1 January 2021, compared to the earlier date envisaged of 1 September 2020.

The authority will be in charge of running a procured marketplace for investment options within the premium pension system – the defined contribution (DC) portion of the state pension.

The delay could allow private-sector pension providers currently offering their funds on the marketplace to continue this business for longer than expected.

The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs announced the delay last week, saying various alternative forms of authority were being investigated. The impact on the actual implementation would be different depending on which form was chosen, the ministry said.

“Detailed terms of reference for the implementation phase will therefore be decided as soon as the government has taken a position on the investigator’s proposal on how to organise the activities,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Swedish news service Pensionsnyheterna reported that the delay only applied to part of the work under way to devise a plan for the procured marketplace. More time was needed for the legislative process, it reported, but there was no delay to the upcoming report detailing the regulations for the platform.

Mikael Westberg, the special investigator leading the implementation review, told Pensionsnyheterna: “I will present the first part of my assignment according to plan. The investigation has been going well and I look forward to presenting my proposals on 4 November.”

Further reading

Swedish asset managers warn against latest pension reforms
The Swedish Investment Fund Association warned earlier this year that planned reforms of the premium pension system could reduce competition and limit savers’ choices

Sweden: Reform focus turns to quality and cost
Phase two of Sweden’s premium pension system reform aims to weed out poor investment pension funds and preserve the best

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