Sweden names head of new social security agency

SWEDEN - The government has appointed finance under-secretary Curt Malmborg to head the new social security agency, Försäkringskassan.

Malmborg will start in January, when the current national social security agency, Riksförsäkringsverket, is set to merge with local agencies with a similar function to become Försäkringskassan.

Anna Heddorg, the current head of Riksförsäkringsverket, will step down to chair an enquiry into the social security system.

Försäkringskassan, and in the future Riksförsäkringsverket, focus on state pensions for sick or injured workers.

The change is not likely to imply a loss of jobs, an official at the social security ministry said. Job cuts were “not an issue”, even if details about the set-up of the new institution had not been considered yet, the official said.

Finance minister Bosse Ringholm has not yet chosen a successor for Malmborg, who joined the ministry in 2000, after leaving the position of secretary general at the office workers’ trade union, Sif.

Meanwhile, old-age pensioners will receive a 0.8% increase next year. A pensioner paid 10,000 crowns a year will receive an extra 80 crowns a month from next year, an official of the social security ministry explained.

The increase has been calculated by deducting 1.6% from the average price increase, which has recently gone up 2.4%.

Invalidity pensions, the official explained, are indexed against prices.

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