UK/DENMARK - Former Conservative pensions spokesman Nigel Waterson has joined Danish pension fund ATP to help it launch an alternative to the National Employment Savings Trust.
ATP confirmed Waterson (pictured), who was an MP for 18 years until the last election, is already working with it to help out with "several issues".
ATP head of international operations Morten Nilsson told PP: "We are very happy Nigel has decided to work with us in the UK. We are planning on establishing a different option [to NEST] and Nigel is a good guy to help us get that right - he has a perfect profile for us."
Last May Waterson lost his Eastbourne seat to Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd, but has since remained active in pensions.
Nilsson said ATP hoped to be fully operational in the UK by the end of the year.
He added: "After the coalition decided to go ahead with auto-enrolment companies are considering how to comply with these auto-enrolment reviews and how to react to it so the next year will be very interesting."
ATP had been one of the original bidders for the administration contact for NEST but pulled out of the running in October 2009 - saying providing services for personal accounts did not fit with their commercial model.
The move comes after the scheme's head of international operations Morten Nilsson said ATP was considering UK expansion plans in an exclusive interview with Global Pensions late last year.
Meanwhile, ATP posted a profit of DKK5.1bn ($943m) - or 7.9% - in 2010.
The fund contributed DKK18.3bn to offset expected future increases in Danish life expectancy, which reduced its profit from DKK23.5bn. Of this, DKK22.9bn came from its investment and hedging activities and DKK600m from other contributions.
The fund's reserves totalled DKK70bn with returns on long-dated government bonds and interest-rate swaps being the main drivers.
ATP CEO Lars Rohde said: "The net profit for the year is highly satisfactory. ATP is already factoring in the expected future rise in Danish life expectancy. Following the strengthening of provisions, ATP will be better able to ensure the long-term purchasing power of pensions. This also increases our possibility of raising ATP pensions for all current and future pensioners within a few years,"
The investment portfolio yielded an overall return of DKK25.4bn, or 6.8%. ATP's five investment classes - or risk classes - all generated positive returns: equities gave DKK10.1bn equivalent to 22%; interest rates gave DKK6.9bn or 4.4%; credit returned DKK3.6bn or 8.3%; inflation gave DKK3.6bn equivalent to 3.5%; and commodities returned DKK1.2bn or 6.7%.
ATP paid pension benefits of DKK9.3bn to members under its lifelong old age pension and paid out to 795,000 members across the year.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out plans to use "new regulatory initiatives" with over 1,000 schemes as it aims to tighten its regulatory grip and boost member outcomes.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it is delaying the provision of data that will enable pension schemes to confirm the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) benefits to pay to members until the end of the year.
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