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Sweden to regulate for pension directive

SWEDEN - The Swedish government is putting forward proposals to implement the European directive on occupational pension funds.

The new regulations, which will see it adopt the prudent person rule for schemes, are set to come into force on January 1 2006. The deadline for implementing the directive is September 23 2005.

The government said that technical provisions corresponding to pension commitments should be based on a market valuation of these commitments.

"The Swedish government is today referring a set of proposals on new regulations for occupational pensions institutions to the Council on Legislation," the Ministry of Finance said. The move follows a call yesterday from the European Parliament's main economic committee for European Union member states to make progress on implementing the directive.

The Ministry added: "The new regulations, which implement the European directive on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision, represent the first step towards more modern and risk-based insurance regulation."

"The proposals referred to the Council on Legislation are an important step towards more modern regulation and proactive supervision in the insurance field," said local government and financial markets minister Sven-Erik Österberg.

"We are laying a firm foundation for stronger occupational pensions, while ensuring consumer protection for pensioners.

"A further step towards modern and risk-based regulation of insurance activities and stronger, more preventive supervision will be taken by the coming introduction of a modernised solvency system for insurance companies that are now being prepared at the Ministry of Finance."

Under another proposal, the Financial Supervisory Authority Finansinspektionen, which already supervises life assurance companies and occupational pension funds, will be take on the supervision of the financial operations of pension foundations.

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