NORWAY - Norway’s largest life pensions company could be created under plans being discussed by the NOK90bn (e11.1bn) KLP (Kommunal Landspensjonskasse) pension fund for Norwegian municipal workers and the SPK (Statens Pensjonskasse) pay-as-you-go retirement plan for civil servants - in a move that could see a significant raft of assets put up for grabs for investment managers.

Nina Koefoed, information manager at KLP, Norway’s second largest life insurer which has a funded pension arrangement for some 65% of employees in the municipal sector, comments: “We have the same type of payment of the pension product and therefore we have started to have discussions with the Statens Pensjonskasse to see if there could be a possibility of a merger of our two systems and companies.”

Koefoed says the Norwegian government has discussed the possibility of a merger between the two organisations and given a very positive opinion.

However, she notes that talks have been put on hold due to the current Norwegian general election.
“It seems we are going to have a new government with a more right wing type of politics and we are awaiting the new government’s signals on this. This won’t happen overnight though.”

Koefoed says the insured pension assets for the combined employees of the two groups would be in the region of NOK275bn, with annual pension payments representing approximately NOK15bn.

She comments that a portion of the KLP assets are managed in-house with some managed by external investment managers, but adds that the question of whether a merger would involve greater externalisation of assets has yet to be decided on.
“This is a question that will be discussed though.”