The Swedish government has confirmed a key element of the long-running premium pension reform and extended the deadline for the inquiry, which is putting new arrangements in place to improve the individual accounts system that forms part of the state pension.
In an announcement, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said the premium pension system’s planned new-style funds marketplace – which will be a procured rather than an open platform – will be run by a new separate authority housed within the Swedish Pensions Agency, making it official that AP7 will not get the job.
The ministry said: “The government has decided on a change to the assignment of establishing a new authority with responsibility for a procured funds marketplace for premium pensions.
“The new authority that the inquiry is to prepare and set up must be a board authority (nämndmyndighet), with the Swedish Pensions Agency as the host authority,” the government department said.
The Swedish concept of “nämndmyndighet” is a committee whose members are chosen by the government, and which acts separately and on its own authority.
In earlier deliberations about the reform, one idea was that AP7, the huge default fund within the premium pension system, could also take on the role of manager of the funds marketplace. However, members of the cross-party pensions group negotiating the reform reportedly said a few weeks ago this task would not be assigned to AP7.
The ministry said the new authority’s task would be to procure funds for the new fund marketplace and to manage the platform.
It would also be responsible for liquidating the current funds platform – which underwent an overhaul at the end of 2018 when all operators had to re-apply under stricter criteria – and manage the transfer of current funds to the procured funds platform, the ministry said.
“More detailed rules for the procured funds marketplace and the board authority will be presented by the government in a forthcoming legal advice referral,” it said.
The government department also said the inquiry period would be extended to 31 August 2021, six months later than the previous deadline of 1 April.
Under the new reform timetable, the new board authority will start operating on 1 September 2021, and the inquiry into a procured fund marketplace will have until 1 October 2021 to present its report to the Ministry of Social Affairs.