Bloomberg News

Norway to Consider Pension Product Overhaul for Life Insurers

June 28, 2012

Norway is considering changes to occupational pension product rules to ensure Norwegian life insurers can adjust to stricter European capital requirements and longer life expectancy.

The changes to insurance-based occupational pension product rules include two alternative models for regulating cost and risk-sharing among insurers, employers and workers, the Banking Law Commission said today in a statement.

“The capital requirements following the new products will be risk manageable,” Oslo-based Storebrand ASA (STB), Norway’s second-biggest publicly traded insurer, said today in a statement. The new proposals “are well adapted to the reform in the public pension system and the new capital requirements under Solvency II.”

The proposals are designed to ensure Norwegian requirements for paid-up corporate pension products can be managed with the introduction of the European Solvency II capital requirements for insurers. The new product models will not guarantee returns to policyholders, according to Storebrand.

Storebrand rose as much as 11 percent, the most since June 20, and was up 6.6 percent at 22 kroner ($3.63) as of 5:03 p.m. in Oslo trading, making it the second-largest gainer in the 28- member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index. (BEINSUR)

“We have come a step in the right direction today,” DNB ASA (DNB), Norway’s biggest bank, said in an e-mailed statement. “The product is suited to life insurers’ future conditions and capital requirements.”

Norway’s finance minister, Sigbjoern Johnsen, plans to submit a bill to parliament late this year or early next year, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website today. A comprehensive plan is expected to be approved by lawmakers in mid-2013, the ministry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net


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