The Swedish government has announced the board line up for the new Fund Selection Agency to procure investment funds to be offered within the country’s revamped premium pension system, with the whole project having received last-minute parliamentary approval last week.

The government announced on Thursday it had appointed Mats Sjöstrand, former director general of the Swedish Tax Agency, to chair the Fund Selection Agency (Fondtorgsnämnden), which will start operations on 20 June.

“The establishment of the Fund Selection Agency is a consequence of parliament’s decision on 31 May to reform the premium pension,” the government said.

In normal circumstances, there has to be a four week gap between a decision by Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, and the legislation taking effect, but in this case that timeframe was shortened.

“The purpose of the reform is to exclude unscrupulous players and to make the premium pension system more secure,” the government said.

In order to achieve that, an authority was being set up with the task of ensuring that the fund market contained cost-effective, sustainable, controllable, high-quality funds, and with enough diversity so there would always be freedom of choice for pension savers and pensioners if they wanted to choose funds, it said.

The Fund Selection Agency, which comes under the auspices of the Swedish Pensions Agency, will be located in Botkyrka, in southern Stockholm.

Maria Rydbeck, director general of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, has been named as the agency’s deputy chair, and other board members include AP6 chief executive officer Katarina Staaf and Mikael Westberg, legal director of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

The creation of the new agency, which will independently procure, manage, and review eligible funds for the €190bn funds marketplace, formed part of the legislative proposal “A better premium pension system Prop. 2021/22:179”, which was passed by parliament on Tuesday.

The Riksdag rejected an associated motion from the populist Sweden Democrats, which proposed the bill be thrown out. The populist political party had argued that time should be given for the previous work to improve the fund marketplace (fondtorget) to show results before moving to a system of procuring funds.

Up to now, all applicants meeting the criteria have been given permission to offer investment funds on the platform, with those criteria having been tightened significantly four years ago.

According to the Swedish Pensions Agency, the Fund Selection Agency will start the first procurements of funds in the second half of this year.

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