SWEDEN - The European Commission has urged Sweden to change its tax rules governing pension funds, which it says are discriminatory because they favour domestic funds over foreign ones.

Pension funds established in Sweden are taxed 15% of a theoretical profit, whereas foreign funds have a tax burden of between 15-30%, depending on whether the fund comes from a country with which Sweden has a double-taxation agreement.

The Commission argued that this was contrary to the free movement of capital.

If Sweden fails to come up with a satisfactory response, the Commission said it could hand the case over to the EU Court of Justice.

In other news, SEB Trygg Liv Gamla, the life arm of SEB, returned 6.3% for the first nine months of the year, a fall from 11.7% for the same period last year.

The solvency ratio remained high at 174%.

And PP Pension, the pension fund for journalists and media, returned 5.7% for the first three quarters of the year, compared with 7.7% for the same period last year.

Total assets were boosted to SEK9.3bn (€1bn) compared with SEK8.8bn at the end of 2009.

Lastly, AP7, one of the national pension funds and the default option within the country's premium pension system, has launched its own electricity plant.

As the fund celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Al Gore, the former US vice-president, opened the plant, which consists of solar cells and wind power, installed on the roof the fund's offices in central Stockholm.

The installation is a test project that aims to decrease the need to purchase electricity.

The ambition of the fund is to reduce the use of externally bought electricity by 15-20% by using its own.