HELSINKI, June 29 (Reuters) - Finnish pension insurance companies Ilmarinen and Etera will merge to form Finland's largest private sector pension insurer, the companies said on Thursday.
The new company will manage the pensions of more than 1.1 million Finns, with assets of more than 44 billion euros ($50 billion).
Both Ilmarinen and Etera boards have approved the merger plan, in which Etera will merge into Ilmarinen on Jan. 1, 2018.
Ilmarinen's Chief Executive Timo Ritakallio will continue as the CEO of the new company.
"The synergies achieved through the merger will benefit the clients of both companies ... Furthermore, thanks to the merger, the cost-effectiveness of the entire earnings-related pension insurance system will improve significantly and the sector's solvency will strengthen overall," Ilmarinen chairman Mikko Helander said in a statement.
Following the merger the companies will save an estimated 20 million euros annually in administrative costs.
$1 = 0.8773 euros Reporting by Tuomas Forsell, editing by David Evans