Pension companies collaborate on common tax principles

With a common set of tax principles, four pension companies are taking a harder line with external fund managers. ATP, Industriens Pension, PensionDanmark and PFA have adopted common tax principles which are intended to influence tax practice - both in Denmark and internationally.

Responsible tax practice plays an important role in Danish society and is high on pension companies’ agendas. In order to meet this responsibility, ATP, Industriens Pension, PensionDanmark and PFA have agreed on a common set of principles and recommendations for responsible tax practice when making unlisted investments through external managers. The aim of the collaboration is to influence tax practice in a responsible direction.

- When we stand together in the industry, we can make a significant difference in influencing developments. There should be no doubt that ATP is working for more responsible tax practice and, with the common tax principles, we will be even stronger. My hope is that more investors will join us in the future, says Bo Foged, ATP's CEO.

- We see tax and responsible tax practice as an important element in our work with responsible investments and being a responsible company. We expect the new collaboration on common principles for responsible tax practice to further strengthen our dialogue with external fund managers and help influence tax practice in a responsible direction, says Allan Polack, PFA’s Group CEO.

The joint action has come out of a tax working group between the pension companies, where existing legislation and expected developments have been discussed in detail. The goal is to prevent aggressive tax planning and promote transparency in investments in various legal structures.

- We are actively working to ensure fiscally robust and responsible investments in line with PensionDanmarks’s guidelines in this area. The joint effort to develop common tax principles is an important initiative in bringing about greater accountability and transparency in the tax field, says Torben Möger Pedersen, PensionDanmark’s CEO.

- As investors, we want to ensure maximum transparency and responsible tax practice. We already have our own tax policies, which we use actively in our investments, and now we are taking a further step forward with the common principles, says Laila Mortensen, Industriens Pension’s CEO.

The core of the tax principles is that:

1) The pension companies do not accept aggressive tax planning.
2) Pension companies reserves the right to demand additional reporting and carry out random checks to verify that the external manager does not engage in aggressive tax planning.
3) The external manager must monitor and handle relevant tax risks in a responsible manner.
4) The pension companies call for transparency in tax matters.
5) The pension companies urge external managers to adopt their own tax policies.