A resolution from the board of Efling criticizes the inadequate response of the administrators of pension funds in the aftermath of the coverage of Kveikur at RÚV regarding their payments to the company Init ehf. The administrators of the funds hide from the members of their funds and unions information regarding their collaboration with Init and refuse to undergo a credible, independent inquiry. Instead, they plan on purchasing a phony review from an auditing company.
On the 27th of April, after the exposé from Kveikur, Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir sent, on behalf of the board of Efling, an appeal to the board of Gildi – pension fund, calling for an independent inquiry into the business between the pension funds and Init (the news item on RÚV). Soon thereafter, on May 11th, Sólveig Anna and Viðar Þorsteinsson, the managing director of Efling, met with Árni Guðmundsson, managing director of Gildi, and reiterated the requests of Efling for collaboration on an honest and transparent inquiry into how the money of fund members had been handled in business transactions with Init. See the appeal
On May 25th, Árni Guðmundsson finally informed Efling that Reiknistofa lífeyrissjóðanna (RL – the Data Center of the Pension Funds) had reached an agreement with the auditing company Ernst & Young to conduct an inquiry. That decision in no way fulfills the reasonable expectation that a credible and independent party conduct the inquiry in question. Ernst & Young is a profit-driven private company which is incentivized to produce a result favorable to its client.
The actions of the pension funds are completely at odds with the statements which they have released regarding the Init affair. Ólafur Sigurðsson, managing director of Birta – pension fund and member of the board of RL said the following in a newscast on RÚV on April 30th: “We will provide … to all who request data from us, everything we have, knowing as we do that we have nothing to hide, and we will encourage Init to do the same.” A few days later, Viðar Þorsteinsson reiterated his written request to Ólafur that he be provided with the contract between RL and Init. Ólafur refused to do so in an email on May 3rd. The statements of Ólafur in the media regarding transparency and “having nothing to hide” are therefore to be considered meaningless claptrap.
Almost a year before the coverage on Kveikur, in June of 2020, Viðar Þorsteinsson, managing director of Efling, brought the questionable business practices of Init to the attention of Árni Guðmundsson, managing director of Gildi. Viðar sent a written report to Árni regarding the existence of a dummy company owned by the employees of Init and regarding the unexplained financial transactions which seemed solely designed to conceal dividend payments. Efling received no information or answers from Gildi regarding actions in the aftermath. The news coverage of Kveikur on RÚV in April of 2021 subsequently shed even more light on these business practices and revealed, among other things, that the business in question was a dummy company.
Evidently, the pension funds mean to conceal the data and information regarding their collaboration with Init and evade an honest inquiry.
Gildi is the pension fund of the members of Efling, in accordance with the company’s collective agreements. The union has its members on the board of the fund’s representative council, which votes on matters during its annual general meeting. Efling, along with other users of the Jóakim-system, pay Init in accordance with a tariff negotiated with Init by the owners of the system, the pension funds.
The resolution of Efling regarding the business between the pension funds and Init
The board of Efling is astounded and disappointed with the reaction of the pension funds to the revelations of the coverage of Kveikur on RÚV on April 29thof 2021.
Questions have arisen as to why the administrators of the pension funds agreed to extensive business with the company Init ehf., even though there was knowledge of inappropriate handling of the funds at Init for a long time.
Instead of acquiescing to the request of Efling for a credible, independent inquiry, these administrators conceal information and data. The statement of these administrators regarding transparency and “having nothing to hide” are to be considered meaningless claptrap.
The decision of the administrators of the funds to purchase a phony review from an auditing company is an obvious whitewash which is devoid of all credibility. This course of action is reminiscent of when Samherji hired a Norwegian law firm to “investigate” its business practices after being covered by the media in 2019.
The board of Efling is especially disappointed to find that the administrators of the pension fund of Efling members, Gildi, have participated in this evasive action. The only result will be the diminished credibility of the fund.
The board of Efling – union
approved during a board meeting on May 27thof 2021