PPM prepares to face the music
The Swedish PPM premium pensions authority has been given until February 22 to explain to the government why the country's controversial personal retirement investment system will be delayed for over a year, and how they propose to rectify the technical oversight which has blighted its launch .
The system, due to be launched in the autumn, allowing millions of Swedes to invest a 2.5% portion of their pension provision in a mutual fund of their choice, had the rug pulled out from under it in its final im-plementation stages at the end of December, when CFC, the system's computer operators, announced they could not cope with the system's en-ormous logistics in the timescale re-quired. Liberal estimates now say it could be over a year before the scheme finally sees its first operations. Leana Schelin at the PPM says the group is currently examining the 'gremlins' which blighted the system launch and is developing a possible al-ternative plan to start late next year. The CCF just did not realise the amount of funds and volume of possible transactions integral to the system. So at the moment we are discussing the possibility of whether we can have a basic level for the system launch until everything is up and running and then revert to the original framework."
Bo Könberg, member of the Swedish parliament for the country's liberal 'Folk Partiet' and deputy chairman of Sweden's social insurance committee,says: "Something drastic has gone wrong here, but the issue at the moment is who is to blame.
"Perhaps the system was too complicated and needs to be revised slightly, or maybe the PPM were just a little too zealous in their desire to get it up and running without the necessary foresight for such a mammothsystem." He adds though that the project still has almost universal political support in the country and should definitely be operative within a year, even if a different technical system, such as those offered by major insurance companies needs to be employed. Hugh Wheelan"