SWEDEN - Swedish pension providers have continued to show positive numbers for the first quarter.

KPA Pensionsförsäkring returned 3.5% for the quarter, which compares well to a loss of 0.9% for the same period last year. KPA's solvency ratio increased to 174%, compared to 155% for the first quarter last year.

KPA has since last year increased its equity exposure as well as its allocation to real estate.  Folksam Liv returned 2.7% for the quarter and the solvency ratio increased to 148% from 136% for the same period last year.

Two out of three Swedes believe that some type of fund investment is the best way to save over a five year period, according to research from Länsförsäkringar, the pension and insurance provider.

Most, some 37%, believe balanced funds are the best option. There is a clear gender division in terms of which type of fund is believed to be best. Men prefer equity funds whereas women prefer the balanced options. Among men, 34% prefer equity funds, compared to only 14% of women. Nearly twice as many women, 47%, prefer balanced funds, compared to 26% of men. 


Of the respondents, 56% regularly use funds as a savings vehicle. Among those aged 40-69, 61% save in funds. A larger proportion of men, 60%, save in funds, compared to 53% of women. Some 49% of Swedes save in funds for a 1-5 year horizon and 36% for a 3-5 year horizon. 

In another study, by the Swedish Investment Fund Association (Fondbolagens Förening), nearly all Swedes, or 99%, between the ages of 18 to 74 put money in funds.  In addition, the majority, 52%, of Swedes now also have some form of occupational pension, compared to 45% in 2008.

However, despite these high numbers, only 17% of those eligible to pick their own funds within the ITP system did so during the first two weeks, according to statistics from Collectum, the administrator of the occupational pension system for white-collar employees. Some 240,000 privately employed professionals are eligible to choose their fund providers before July 1. 


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