Insurance Sweden has published figures for 2021 showing that occupational pensions continued to increase as a proportion of total pensions paid out in the Nordic country.

The lobby group said it expected this trend to become even more pronounced in future, because pension provision had increased in several collective bargaining sectors in recent years.

Eva Erlandsson, senior economist at Insurance Sweden, said: “It is clear that the significance of the occupational pension for the total pension paid has increased over time.”

She said an increasing proportion of people were earning more than the ceiling for the state pension, which meant the level of occupational pension money was now higher.

The industry association said that for the vast majority of Swedes, the state pension still accounted for the largest share of their total pension, but that overall, the proportion of their pension income coming from occupational pension and life insurance savings was steadily increasing.

Last year, occupational pensions accounted for 20% and other life insurance savings for 19% of total pensions paid in Sweden, the group said, citing statistics compiled from its own figures and data from the Swedish Pensions Authority.

Looking at the longer-term picture, Insurance Sweden said that between 2012 and 2021, payments from occupational pensions had increased by 97%, and life insurance savings by 119%, while payments from state pensions had increased by only 42%.

Insurance Sweden said its statistics only showed occupational pension payments from savings in occupational pension schemes, or private pension insurance, but that since employers could also honour occupational pension commitments via balance sheet provisions, or a pension foundation, for example, the actual figures were higher.

Private pension saving referred to payments made before this type of product was abolished in 2016, the association said.

“In terms of private pension insurance alone, we will in future see a clear decline in payments, as we currently lack private pension savings in Sweden,” Erlandsson said.

She said the insurance industry had presented a new proposal for private pension savings, which was primarily aimed at those on low to medium incomes.

Denmark’s pensions and insurance lobby group IPD released figures last week, showing what it said was the largest annual increase in overall pension contributions the country had seen since 2007, with most of the rise coming from occupational pensions.

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