EUROPE - Johan Sidenmark has been appointed as the new chief executive at AMF, replacing Ingrid Bonde.

Sidenmark joins from rival Nordea Life, where he has worked for the past decade. He assumes his new role on 1 August.

At Nordea, Sidenmark is responsible for life and pensions companies in 10 countries and has held positions within the group's asset management and advisory businesses.

He is also on the board of several of Nordea's businesses - roles that he will relinquish on his departure.

Prior to joining Nordea in 2002, Sidenmark worked at Mercer and Watson Wyatt, the investment consultants.

At AMF, Peder Hasslev will serve as acting chief executive from 12 May, until Sidenmark joins.

In other news, Malin Björkmo, head of the fund and insurance unit at the Swedish regulator (Finansinspektionen), is stepping down at the end of this summer.

Björkmo is starting her own business as a consultant, focusing on ownership and management issues, as well as strategic leadership.

Bertil Sjöö, deputy head of the fund and insurance department, will take on the role as acting head at the regulator.

Meanwhile, Norway has temporarily stopped free transfer rights between traditional guaranteed products because companies cannot afford the annual return guarantees of 3-4% due to current market conditions.

At the same time, Norwegian pension funds and insurers have asked the regulator (Finanstilsynet) for permission to change annual guarantees to final guarantees - a request the watchdog has rejected.

The current measure is therefore temporary, as it will be possible to change from traditional guaranteed products to fund solutions - currently prohibited - from January 2013.

Lastly, one-quarter of Swedes are worried about their pensions, according to a survey by Pensionsmyndigheten, the Swedish Pensions Agency, which administers the country's premium pension system.

However, the agency said those concerns were largely unwarranted.

Women between the ages of 36 and 54 represented the most concerned demographic, the survey said, citing a lack of clarity over what final pensions payments might be.

The survey found that many respondents believed the information sent by Pensionsmyndigheten tallied their total pension, which is not the case - so many thought their pensions would be much lower than they actually were.

Pensionsmyndigheten's information does not include occupational pension accumulation, for example.

Few respondents seemed to realise they could improve their pensions by working longer.