SWEDEN – Johan Bjorkman, chairman of Sweden’s third national pension fund, Tredje AP-fonden or AP3, has been fired by the Swedish government.

Bjorkman had been chairman of the fund for 13 years. A spokeswoman at the ministry of finance said the dismissal was a result of an investigation into Bjorkman’s involvement in “insider trading” and “tax crime” with regards to dealings in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

While the alleged illegalities do not directly involve the AP3 fund, the spokeswoman said that the government was “afraid that the suspicions would have a negative impact on the scheme and the whole Swedish pension system”.

Deputy finance minister Gunnar Lund had initially asked Bjorkman to temporarily withdraw from his position as chairman of the fund while the investigation is underway, but the offer was refused.

Replacing Bjorkman will be vice-chairman Rolf Andersson. A permanent replacement is being sought.

AP3 is one of Europe’s largest pension funds with 129.7 billion Swedish crowns (14 billion euros) under management.