SWEDEN - The Federation of Salaried Employees, the PTK, in Stockholm has thrown out an employers’ plan to introduce a defined contribution (DC) pension plan for the country’s white collar workers. This would have replaced the current final salary defined benefit (DB) scheme.
Instead the PTK has demanded a mixed scheme whereby high earners are offered DB schemes, while the remainder are offered DC schemes.
Negotiations between the PTK the Swedish employers’ federation, Svenskt Näringsliv, over the collectively agreed ITP, the pension scheme for 600,000 salaried white collar workers, broke down last week.
Hans Gidhagen, chief negotiator for Svenskt Näringsliv, said the PTK were offered a ‘win-win’ package. “As we see it the DC scheme we have presented here much better than the final salary scheme we have today, especially for younger people. From the company side the benefit was to know what the cost of the pension will be.”
The plan would have brought white collar employees into line with blue collar workers who changed to DC scheme in 1996.
Gidhagen said the employers proposed a mixed plan to the PTK in 1999 but the PTK had rejected it “They wonder why we don’t accept it now, but we have said no to that sort of scheme.”
He said the federation will now consult on the next move with its member companies.
Lars-Bonny Ramstedt, chief negotiator of PTK, said the unions had rejected the proposal because the plan did ensure that some employees would not be worse off. He said there will be no further negotiations until the employers drop the DC proposal.
Negotiations between the PTK and the employers’ federation over changes to the ITP began in the mid-1990s but broke down in 1999, and did not resume until 2001.