SWEDEN - Kapan Pensioner recovered its investments to deliver a double-digit positive return in 2009, having lost over 15% in 2008. Its rival AI Pension followed close behind with an 11% gain. And a Swedish survey has revealed over half of the population care about their pensions.

* Kåpan Pensioner, the Swedish pension fund for government employees, returned 13.8% for 2009, which compared well to a loss of 15.6% in 2008.

Total assets under management increased to SEK37.3bn (€3.84bn) and the fund's solvency level rose to 134%, compared to 108% in 2008, as a result of an increase in interest rates in Sweden.

Dividends paid to its 600,000 members will be 8% for 2009 as a result of the positive returns.

* Its rival, AI Pension, previously known as Arkitekternas Pensionkassa, returned 11.1% in 2009 compared to a loss of 5.7% in 2008. The fund's solvency level also increased to 141% from 122% the year before.

The fund changed its name in a bid to widen its target membership to include engineers as well as architectural and technical consultants. As a result of the new ITP regulations in Sweden, which came into effect in 2007, AI Pension cannot be selected as a pension provider within the ITP regime, which could in future mean that the amount of premiums paid will stagnate and eventually fall, if the membership group is not expanded beyond architects.

AI now had some 15,000 members but with the expanded target audience this now increases to 250,000 members and 11,000 companies. AI Pension currently manages SEK4.55bn.

* At the same time, a survey conducted by Collectum, the administrator of the Swedish ITP2 system, suggested just 43% of Swedes care about the annual pension information they receive, whereas nearly half, or 49%, do not.

Some 8% of those questioned said they felt neither engaged or disengaged by the information received. And it was the youngest who said they felt the least engaged by pensions issues. Young women under the age of 30, in particular, said they care least as only 17% stated they were interested in pensions.

* In contrast, however, a survey by SPP, the pension and insurance provider, found most Swedes believe they will receive a good or even fantastic pension in retirement.

It suggested young people are very optimistic about the subject and said they are interested in saving for their retirement. Some 41% of respondents said they would want to save for their retirement but, worryingly, more than a third of Swedes said they will just keep their fingers crossed and hope for the best or are counting on a lottery win to realise their retirement dreams.

These stories were first published by Pensionsnyheterna, a Swedish-language specialist news service, and translated in agreement with IPE.com.