The chief executive of Sweden’s KPA Pension has called for more affirmative action to bring about gender equality in pension outcomes.

Britta Burreau pressed the issue directly at a recent meeting with the Swedish minister for social affairs, Annika Strandhäll.

The pension fund, which covers staff at local authorities, said that women’s pensions are on average worth 67% of the value of men’s pensions on retirement.

KPA Pension has been campaigning for action to change the impact of women taking more responsibility for home and family tasks than men, which eventually feeds through into lower pensions.

Burreau said: “It is in the workplace and in the division of responsibility for home and family that the changes need to take place, as the pension system as such is equal.”

Annika Strandhäll

Annika Strandhäll, Sweden’s social affairs minister

At Burreau’s recent meeting on the matter with Strandhäll, the pension fund said the minister talked about the government’s planned investments for stronger pensions and said equal pensions were a key issue for the government.

The fund, which ran SEK172bn (€15.9bn) in assets at the end of 2018, said that roughly 80% of its 1.8m customers were women.

The gender gap in pensions cemented an unequal society, KPA added.

KPA Pension released a humorous TV advert last year highlighting the responsibility that fathers also have for their children, in which a child turns up to school without her gym bag.

The Swedish prime minister has since cited the school gym bag as a symbol of pension inequality.

Earlier this year, Swedish pension and insurance group Länsförsäkringar published data that showed women received an average of SEK4,114 a month less in pensions than men.

The company said that, according to figures from the Swedish National Mediation Office, women had nearly the same salary as men, but a real gap could be found in pensions that are based on an individual’s income.

The study attributed the difference to womens’ absence from the labour market, which includes factors such as the increased number of women in part-time work, but largely the fact that women take parental leave more frequently than men.

Last year a UK report from labour union Prospect showed the gender pensions gap in the UK to be 39.5% – approximately £7,000 (€8,000) a year.