Norway’s Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) has sold its corporate pensions unit KLP Bedriftspensjon to DNB Liv for between NOK400-450m (€37-41m), saying the business had become less crucial strategically since the advent of the new public sector pension.

KLP, which is the Nordic country’s main provider of municipal pensions, also said it would take a lot of work and significant investment to make the subsidiary profitable, which returned a loss of NOK10.3m last year.

Sverre Thornes, KLP chief executive officer, said: “DNB already holds a solid position in this market, and has the muscle to do what it takes.”

The NOK765bn pension fund’s wholly-owned subsidiary KLP Bedriftspensjon, which was established in 2006, provides defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) pensions – and manages pension capital certificates and paid-up policies – for employers in both the public and private sectors.

At the end of Q1, it had total assets of NOK6.98bn.

Anders Skjævestad, DNB Liv’s CEO, said: “Defined contribution pensions are a focus area for DNB, and given the prevailing low interest rates and demographic changes, saving for retirement is only going to become more important.”

KLP Bedriftspensjon had a strong position as a provider of public sector-related businesses, and had invested in index linked funds and sustainable management processes, he said.

“These are initiatives that we look forward to continuing under the auspices of DNB,” Skjævestad said, adding that his firm would be launching new sustainability profiles for DC pensions this autumn as part of this.

KLP said changes to public sector occupational pensions in Norway at the beginning of this year had decreased the strategic importance of the subsidiary to the overall group, and that the private sector occupational pensions market was also in a state of change.

Norwegian media reports put the value of the deal at NOK400-450m, and a spokeswoman for KLP confirmed to IPE the actual figure was in that range.

After years of negotiation, Norway’s new hybrid public sector pension is now in place for central government and municipal staff, having been designed to make staying in work longer worthwhile while making it easier for individuals to switch jobs between the public and private sectors.

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