SWEDEN - The Swedish government has said that it is planning to "investigate" the issue of a possible transfer of around Skr 96bn (e10bn) from the AP funds to the government this spring.
In its Fiscal Policy Bill, the government said: “The issue of a possible transfer will be investigated during the spring, and the government therefore intends to revisit the issue in the 2006 Budget Bill.”
Following political pressure last year, the government decided against the transfer of the final tranche of funds amounting to roughly Skr 96bn. The government’s decision was based on warnings that a transfer would upset the delicate balance ratio, triggering a rise in liabilities thereby resulting in lower pensions.
When the Swedish pension system was reformed in 1999, it was decided that the government was to be partly compensated for the effects of the pension reform through a transfer of assets from the national pension funds (AP1-4) to the public treasury. So far, Skr 245bn from the funds has been transferred to the government.
The Fiscal Bill noted that in 2004, the balance in the pension, i.e. the National Pension Funds and the Premium Pension Authority amounted to Skr 48bn or 1.9% of GDP.
In addition, investment assets in the pension system increased as a result of the rising value of shares, which account for the bulk of assets in both the National Pension funds and in those funds managed by the PPM.
The government’s Bill also noted that a change in Eurostat’s decisions last autumn meant that defined contributions funded systems would not be assigned to the public sector in the National Accounts, would decrease general government net lending by about 1% of GDP in the National Accounts.
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