Swedish pension provider Skandia has published the results of a poll showing that more Swedes have confidence in the country’s pension system compared to two years ago, commenting that the growing level of trust coincides with pensions moving up the political agenda ahead of this autumn’s general election.

The new survey conducted by analysis and research company Novus on Skandia’s behalf showed the proportion of people saying they had high confidence in the Swedish pension system in general had gradually increased to 32% in 2022 from 21% in 2018.

The Novus survey – which is conducted annually – involved 1,078 web interviews done in February.

Skandia said the pension issue had, for the first time in decades, emerged as an important election issue ahead of this autumn’s parliamentary poll, with major efforts for pensioners having been presented by both the government and the opposition.

Mattias Munter, pension economist at Skandia, said: “The figures show that there is a disconnect between politicians’ eagerness to raise pensions and the Swedish people’s confidence in the issue.”

Swedish people were becoming more and more satisfied with pensions and the pension system, he said.

Munter said politicians had a very clear focus on today’s pensioners, but that there was an inherent challenge in focusing on short-term proposals.

“We have a system that is designed to last until the next ice age, but the current proposals risk becoming a real heat wave,” he said.

“Both today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners benefit from long-termism with stable rules of the game – while short-termism instead risks challenging both confidence and the state’s finances in the long run,” he said.

Increase in Swedish small businesses that do not provide occupational pensions

LänsföRSäkringar has come out with a study revealing an increase in the proportion of Swedish small businesses that do not provide occupational pensions.

Publishing its report focusing on small companies with up to 20 employees, called “The Security Gap” (Trygghetsgapet), Länsförsäkringar said the study showed, among other things, that as many as four out of 10 entrepreneurs did not have occupational pension provisions for themselves or their employees, and that the proportion who did not had increased steadily since 2008.

Between that year and 2018, that proportion rose by 11.3 percentage points, according to the data.

The picture varies according to the industrial sector, the study shows, with leisure firms more commonly lacking occupational pension schemes than those in the manufacturing industry.

Geographically, the research also reveals higher proportions of small businesses in metropolitan areas such as Stockholm, Skåne and Uppsala providing owner and employee pensions than among those firms in other parts of Sweden.

Mathias Collén, chief executive officer of Länsförsäkringar Fondliv, said: “That we now see a negative trend regarding the proportion of companies that do not have provisions for occupational pensions, especially in metropolitan regions, is worrying.”

The general (state) pension in Sweden was steadily decreasing generation by generation, he said, and given that people were living increasingly long lives, pensions had to last for longer, he said.

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