EUROPE – The Swedish association for workplace pension schemes, Tjänstepensionsförbundet, has joined the Brussels-based lobbying association, PensionsEurope, bringing to 23 the number of its members.

In a statement, PensionsEurope said the membership of the Swedish association became effective during PensionsEurope's general assembly meeting in Vienna on 22 April.

This is the latest pension association to become a member of the Brussels group.

The Swedish association's members comprise 10 pension funds from more than 2,500 Swedish companies and manage €15bn of assets.

Peter Hansson, chief executive of the pension fund SPK and chairman of Tjänstepensionsförbundet, said the Swedish association has a good relationship with pension authorities.

"But it's not enough anymore," he said. "In order to influence and explain the consequences of future comprehensive regulatory framework, it is important that we also take part at the European level."

Hansson went on to say that PensionsEurope could help Swedish schemes to improve future pensions for their members.

PensionsEurope chair Joanne Segars stressed that pension funds in Sweden faced the same pressures as schemes in many other European countries.
"By working together, we can make sure the voice of workplace pensions is heard loudly and clearly by policymakers in Brussels and Frankfurt," she said.

"I am pleased PensionsEurope is a growing organisation."
Matti Leppälä, chief executive at PensionsEurope, also pointed out that Sweden and other Nordic countries had "excellent" pension systems and that it was "vital" they had a strong voice at the EU level.

PensionsEurope has members from Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Croatia, Guernsey, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.