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The fall of a pension fund

Looking out for people’s money is a powerful task for a newspaper. It can truly make a difference in people lives. When SvD looked into the pension fund Allra – it turned out it had enriched itself on behalf of the savers.

To be able to retire with a solid financial security should be everyone’s right. In Sweden this is no longer the evident, everyone has to save and take responsibility for their own pension. So when Svenska Dagbladet was able to show how one of the largest pension companies was scamming their customers, the scandal was a fact.

The Swedish system for pensions has been questioned for some time, and there has been several reports on how Swedes saving money in different funds are paying the price.

This time it started with a tip to SvD, to have a look at the company called Allra. Allra was one the country’s largest pension funds and were managing 18 billion SEK for its 130 000 savers. It was a success story with several celebrities on the board. A quick investigation indicated that something was wrong. The company’s fund was delivering result far below expectations.

In the coming months Joel Dahlberg, reporter at the business section, made a thorough investigation. There was a new story almost every day and Dahlberg kept on digging and soon enough people started to leave the board. In the end Dahlberg was able to show where the money went, and how the company with the help of complicated company structures, aggressive marketing and financial products that were hard to understand tricked their costumers. The savers lost several billions SEK.

The revelation chocked the Swedish pension system. Allra was forced to leave the market, the Swedish government has decided to have less companies in the system and several people in the Allra management is being investigated.