SWEDEN - Sweden has put in place legislation to prevent individuals from transferring roughly SEK750bn (€81.1bn) in existing pension and life insurance policies to foreign insurers.

The legislation was passed straight after the European Court of Justice ruled against discriminatory pension taxation in Denmark at the end of January.

Using a special clause in Swedish legislation, the Riksdag was able to by-pass normal parliamentary procedures to pass the law as quickly as possible, Mikael Nyman, editor of the Swedish financial newsletter, Pensioner & Förmåner, told IPE.

This express track can be used whenever "vital Swedish interests are at risk", he said.

The  "vital interest" in this case is an estimated SEK1.35trn of tax income on pension and life insurance policies signed before February 2, 2007.

According to the Swedish Finance Ministry this ban on the transfer of existing pension policies will only be temporary. Like Denmark, Sweden is currently working on amending regulations to end a tax regime that discriminates against foreign insurers.

A spokeswoman for finance minister Anders Borg confirmed the move. She stressed that it will in future be possible to transfer pension policies to insurers outside Sweden as soon as regulations for these transfers have been put in place.