Laws, relations & education : A qualitative study of pension fund advising
In 2000, more then 4 million Swedish citizens were given the responsibility to invest a part of their earned money in the new premium pension system. With limited knowledge in financial markets was it now up to the people themselves to decide how to invest. Due to the citizens lack of knowledge lead them to a passive behavior. This meant a new role for the financial institutions and the advising that followed. Since the start, there has been constant debates on how well the system has been working and who it has been beneficial to.With the new role of the pension advisors the problem question was stated as: considering the customers’ knowledge and understanding of the financial factors, how has the advising of premium pension funds evolved since 2000? With the sub question: what role will the future of pension funds advising have?The aim of the study is to research how the knowledge among the Swedish public has changed, how the perception of risk has altered, how the trust and confidence among financial advisors have changed, what importance new laws and regulations have had, and how the relations between customer and advisors has developed with the uneven knowledge. The future of pension advising will be investigated.This study has a qualitative approach with seven semi-structured interviews with different institutions that are related to pension saving. Due to the nature of the study a hermeneutic approach and abductive perspective is obliged.The respondents have observed the level of knowledge among the public to be low, however has it gotten better. The laws and licenses implemented has changed how pension advisors are working, and increased the confidence for advisors. For the future, a majority of the advisors are calling for the government to take the responsibility on educating the public in private economy. This would, according to the respondents, simplify the advisors job. The insufficient level of knowledge has created both problems and opportunities for advisors. The trouble with a product/service such as advising its complexity, which makes it hard for the institutions to explain, and for the customers to understand it. Therefore, the authors agree with the respondents, to educate the Swedish citizens in order for them to understand the opportunity that is in front of them.
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