Switzerland’s CHF7bn intergenerational pension problem

first_imgLucerne, SwitzerlandMeanwhile, a joint study by researchers from Lucerne University’s Institute of Financial Services and the University of Basel’s Faculty of Economic Sciences confirmed the problem of cross-financing in the second pillar.“Today’s focus on secure pensions at a high level and the short-term obligations for interest rates and funding levels connected to it, which no longer match market environments, have to be questioned,” authors Yvonne Seiler Zimmermann and Heinz Zimmermann wrote.They emphasised that Pensionskassen “have to be able to invest in risky assets over the long term” to achieve higher returns.A second paper, by Swiss consultancy C-alm, also highlighted the potential of the second pillar but warned about too much flexibility for members, such as providing a free choice of Pensionskasse for individuals, which has been frequently discussed.The researchers argued that such “measures for liberalisation are breaking with the concept of an intergenerational risk pool”.They said this “would undermine a risk compensation and with it the possibility to take investment risks”.C-alm pointed out that risk taking and risk compensation needed an “appropriate level of collectivity and long-term perspective”.Both studies (in German) can be downloaded from the Asip, the Swiss pensions trade body.See the June edition of IPE for a country report focused on Switzerland. Pension promises made in the past cannot be adjusted under Swiss law, meaning older pensioners’ benefits are calculated using a higher Umwandlungssatz, or conversion rate. This rate determines how much of an individual’s total accrued pension they can receive every year.Newer pensioners receive considerably lower pensions from the second pillar and active members’ assets have to be used to fulfil all these promises.“Overall it can be noted that the systemic risks in the second pillar continue to increase with the changes in the economic, financial and demographic environments,” Pierre Triponez, president of the OAK, noted in his foreword to the supervisor’s annual report.He said there was need for action from the authorities on new legislation, especially after the pension reform package Altersvorsorge 2020 failed to get public approval last year in a national referendum.In its analysis of the financial situation of Swiss Pensionskassen, the OAK also noted that the long-term minimum interest rate granted stood at 2.75% – down from 2.97% in 2016. The technische Zins – the return assumed when calculating contributions – was lower at around 2.25% on average.The OAK expected more Pensionskassen to make adjustments to their parameters.Studies back up regulator’s fear Switzerland’s second-pillar pension funds are being forced to use assets accrued by people still working to pay current retirees’ pensions, according to the country’s pension regulator.“Systemic risks in the second pillar continue to increase with changes in the economic, financial and demographic environments”Pierre Triponez, president, OAKAround CHF7bn (€5.9bn) a year – roughly 1% of the total capital in the Swiss second pillar – must be taken from active members’ assets to pay for current benefits in Swiss Pensionskassen, the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) said in its 2017 report.“This annual reallocation has reached critical levels,” the OAK warned.last_img read more

Solskjaer: Tan is a winner

first_img He feels City can achieve an astonishing feat, as long as they do not become fixated by the idea. He said: “It’s possible for them to win all four. They will go for it and want to win it. “When you get into that position the thing is you don’t talk too much about it at all, because you are in such a great frame of mind. “You get into the rhythm of playing a game and performing, winning and playing and performing and winning. “That was what we felt for the last five months of 1999. It was just game after game after game. We rotated and didn’t have to make too many changes. “We had won so many games and Peter Schmeichel’s penalty save (in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal) was a key moment because Arsenal would have won the double. “That’s the margins in football.” Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes owner Vincent Tan can help the club become a Premier League force. Malaysian businessman Tan has caused controversy by changing the club’s kit from blue to red and sacking manager Malky Mackay after a series of disagreements. But Tan claims to have ploughed more than £120million of his own money into the club and has already backed Solskjaer in the transfer market with the acquisitions of Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli. There were also three club-record signings during the summer and Solskjaer is confident Tan can help the Bluebirds become a top-10 side, and re-iterated he will have control over all football matters. Solskjaer, whose side dropped into the relegation zone after defeat to West Ham last weekend, said: “The owner is a winner and he wants all of his businesses to be successful. Now he trusts me to make the football decisions. “In the short term it is important that we stay in the Premier League, but then again he has reassured me that we are looking to strengthen if the right people are available. “It is not like I have X amount of money. It is my job to find value for money and put it to him. He has been very open for discussion. “It is a great football club and a top 10-place is the medium and long-term aim, and who knows what can happen in the long, long term?” On Saturday, Solskjaer takes his side to the Etihad Stadium to face a Manchester City side with 10 wins from 10 at home in the league and 99 goals scored in all competitions so far this season. The Citizens remain in contention for a trophy quadruple. Solskjaer famously helped Manchester United to the treble in 1999, scoring the winner against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Press Associationlast_img read more