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Sweden’s AP funds to meet government

SWEDEN – The six Swedish state pension buffer funds are to meet local government and financial markets minister Sven-Erik Österberg to discuss a government report on their structure.

The meeting, which is scheduled to take place in mid-late June, comes after the annual report on the AP funds by Hewitt Wassum Investment Partners which focused on performance and a special report by accounting firm KPMG, which looked specifically at costs.

But the meeting is expected to focus on a third study conducted by the government and based on the previous two. This year it is the funds’ costs rather than their performance that took centre stage.

Following the publication of its report last week, the ministry of finance announced it would start on-going discussions with the funds’ board of directors. The government will also meet the funds’ chairmen in mid June, an engagement made a while ago.

AP2 spokesman Carl Rosen said the government has pledged not to change their asset management structure but will discuss its “concerns” with the funds.

He told IPE that the government’s report did not contain specific criticism but rather focussed on different issues.

In April Österberg dismissed suggestions to merge the four biggest AP buffer funds, worth a total SEK626.5bn (€68.4bn), as a cost-cutting measure.

He said then that a merger of AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4 was “not being considered at this stage”.

Last week the government presented a bill to parliament to implement the EU directive on occupational pensions.

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