Skandia's int'l arm to unveil new Swedish pension
SWEDEN - Skandia International will unveil a new pension plan for the Swedish pensions market later this month allowing employers to give executives access to a wider range of pensions investments, but which will is not part of the Skandia Liv offering.
The firm's offshore arm has created Sweden's first executive pension plan (EPP), an individual pension package which is paid into by the employer to benefit the employee.
Interestingly, this product is not being distributed through the firm's Swedish business Skandia Liv but by the international firm following suitable advice recommendations to employers from Swedish financial advisers, according to officials, as this allows individuals access to a much wider range of investments.
This has been possible since Sweden altered the legislative landscape to allow EU-based companies to offer products in the market.
Unlike most pension arrangements, the EPP is also a single premium or single payment policy set up by the employer but allows the employee to manage their wealth providing the money held never falls below its initial investment.
Smith was unwilling to say at this stage what the charges will be but said they are equivalent to similar products in the investment bonds market.
It is therefore likely to service will be more expensive than the group occupational plans available through Skandia Liv as offshore products tend to be more expensive given their extensive investment options.
Adrian Smith, international product marketing manager, described the Swedish EPP as an "open architecture pension" and says it is different to Skandia Liv's group occupational pension funds as investments can be placed in, among other things, collective investment funds and shares.
"The anecdotal evidence is there is a lot of interest because there is no-one else in the market with sort of offering," said Smith.
The EPP will be launched to Swedish financial advisers on August 18 through a series of roadshows and distributed with the support of Skandia's local sales team.
Skandia's international business is part of parent group Old Mutual plc and is a collection of companies outside its core operations in Sweden and the UK. The firm has businesses in Ireland, Hong Kong and the Isle of Man in the main, and operates predominantly as an EU-passported offshore business from its Dublin base.
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