NORWAY - Storfjord kommune is seeking a pension provider to run a state occupational pension fund for the municipality.

The tender notice revealed the municipality of Storfjord, which borders both Sweden and Finland, is seeking the provision of pension services for a total of three years - to be renewed on an annual basis - starting on January 1 2009.

Storfjord is seeking a service provider that has already registered a state occupational pension product with the Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities. (NALRA).

The kommune is expected to select three providers to tender for the contract, which carries a requirement that the pension scheme complies with the main tariff agreement in the NALRA area.

Applications for the contract will be judged on the most economically-advantageous in a range of criteria, although pension costs will account for 40% of the weighting, capital management for 25% and risk management for 15%, with the remaining 20% relating to the service provided by the insurer.

Storfjord's search for a provider of pension services follows similar re-tendering processes by at least three other Norwegian municipalities - Ski, Skedsmo and Kongsvinger - while Baerum announced its intention to design a new scheme for municipal employees in response to the large economic challenge the area faces between 2008-11. (See earlier IPE articles: AFP contributions rose 12.4% in 2007 and Baerum seeks help establishing new pension fund)

Closing date for applications for the Storfjord tender, administered by Factor Insurance Brokers AS, is 15 September 2008.

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