DENMARK - Unilever's Danish subsidiary is closing its in-house pension fund operation next month, and the entire scheme is being outsourced to financial services group Nordea, according to the fund's manager.

"The pension fund will not exist any more - it is going to be outsourced to Nordea," said Joern Hindkjaer, outgoing pension fund manager of Unilever Danmarks Pensionskasse.

"It's because [Unilever] wants to bring the pension scheme in line with the market in Denmark," he told IPE, explaining most pension schemes on the market in the country were run on a defined contribution (DC) basis, rather than defined benefit (DC).

The Unilever scheme is largely DB, though from January 2007 new members have been enrolled in the company's new DC scheme managed by Nordea, which was set up at that point, he said.

However, from May 1, the entire scheme will now be switched to DC and put into
Nordea's hands. "All the benefits in the existing scheme will be undergo an actuarial valuation, and that will be managed by Nordea," he said.

Unilever Danmarks Pensionskasse only employs three staff including Hindkjaer, so he now intends to take on a new role elsewhere within Denmark, but has no concrete plans at the moment.

The pension fund has around €120m in assets and is responsible for 164 active members, 129 pensioners and 51 deferred pensioners, the fund confirmed.