The Swedish Fund Selection Agency (Fondtorgsnämnden, FTN) has announced it is tweaking the order of its extensive programme of tenders in a bid to speed up the shift of premium pensions savings into funds that have been specially procured.

The agency, which was set up two years ago to improve the quality of the fund offering in the first-pillar defined contribution system, also said that from now on it will include a soft cap on the level of fee charged by managers in each procurement.

According to the plan announced by the FTN in November 2023, alongside two Swedish equities tenders – initial details of which were indicated at the end of May — it also planned to launch a tender for global bonds in 2024.

At the time, it said there was SEK700m (€62m) of premium pension savings in that category.

But it has now decided instead to launch a procurement for actively-managed large and mid-cap global equities – a much larger category on the platform, in which some SEK193bn of state pension savers’ money is currently invested.

“In the procurement plan for the premium pension fund platform, the Swedish Fund Selection Agency is prioritising fund categories with large savings volumes,” the FTN said.

“This is to ensure a rapid flow of capital to the procured fund platform,” it said.

That active global equities tender is going to happen in the fourth quarter of this year, the agency said.

As things stand, actively-managed global equity funds are mainly included in two categories on the existing premium pension funds platform – global, and global and Sweden, and there are around 45 such funds, with savings belonging to about a million people.

Notice for the upcoming active global equities procurement will be given after the procurement of Swedish equity funds and Swedish index funds, the FTN said, adding that it will launch that Swedish dual tender at the end of August or the beginning of September.

At a virtual information event held on Friday, the agency said that having learned from its work so far, it was now making some changes.

Those changes were firstly, continuous improvements to the tendering process via the e-Avrop portal; secondly, faster replies to questions being posed through that system, and thirdly, it said, a change in its price criteria evaluation starting with the existing procurement for Nordic large-cap equity funds and Nordic small-cap equity funds.

Erik Fransson, executive director of the FTN, said: “We have introduced a ceiling on the procured price of 45 basis points. That means that you can submit a higher price, you can submit any price, but you will only receive one point for submitted prices above 45 basis points.”

This is out of four possible points the agency can award based on price, he said, stressing that 45 basis points was just an example in the case of the Nordic equities tenders.

The agency also announced that it will in future organise dialogue meetings with fund managers, in which it will be able to answer “general questions about the premium pension system and the procurement process”, with most of those meeting to be conducted digitally.

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