The Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten), which runs the private funds marketplace underlying the country’s first-pillar premium pension system, has been told by the government to perform an evaluation of the two-year-old overhaul of the platform – and given less than a month to do it.
The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said it was instructing the agency to assess the effects of the November 2018 reform, under which stricter requirements were introduced for funds and fund managers in the premium pension system.
In the notice to the pensions agency, minister for social security Ardalan Shekarabi said: “The evaluation shall refer to all measures proposed in the bill ‘A safer and more sustainable premium pension system’ (Bill 2017/18: 247) and which constituted the so-called 29-point programme.”
He said the agency’s report was to be submitted to the government no later than 14 October.
The change – which resulted in hundreds of funds being culled from the funds marketplace (fondtorget) – was the first part of the two-stage reform to the system of individual accounts agreed upon by the cross-party pensions group.
The first stage was aimed at curbing abuse of the system and making the funds platform safer, following several scandals over rogue players.
The second stage, which is still being debated, is set to include big changes to the operator of the default fund, AP7, and the introduction of a procured range of investment options instead of the current funds marketplace which is open to all providers meeting certain criteria.
The next stage of the reform is likely to see the number of private products offered in the defined-contribution premium pension system whittled down still further.
Even though the details have yet to be finally agreed, an implementation date of 1 April 2021 has been set for stage two of the reform.
Shekarabi said the second step was not “in itself” dependent on the effects of the first step.
“But as part of the preparation of the procured fund marketplace, current experience of the reform’s first step is of value,” the government minister said.