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

Quarterbacks coach Lester expects competition to heat up quickly

first_imgFriday, in Tim Lester’s mind, was the day the competition truly began.It was the first time that Syracuse practiced in full pads. It also was one of the first times that Drew Allen has been truly comfortable in the SU system. Until now, it’s been tough for Lester, the quarterbacks coach, to make any judgments on who will win the starting job under center.“There’s not much clarity yet,” Lester said, “but they’ve all been playing hard and learning.”Allen and Terrel Hunt are splitting snaps evenly at quarterback, Lester said, with Charley Loeb following behind. Days ago it seemed that Hunt was the frontrunner in the two-horse race. Now it’s a dead heat.The next few days will go a long way in separating the pack. The Orange practiced third downs for the first time on Saturday and will do further situational work in the upcoming practices. Those are when Lester will learn each quarterback’s “quirks.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWho holds on to the ball too long? Who can execute on third downs? Or in the red zone? It’s questions like those that Lester hopes will be answered in the coming days, and the answers will shed light on the outlook of the quarterback competition.“Today was good,” Lester said. “Real fun for me to see the guys in a unique situation because we’ve been doing first down for five days now.”Also adding some clarity is Allen’s rapid progression into the flow of the offense over the past few days.For the first few days he spent practicing with Syracuse, he had yet to familiarize himself.“He was just uncomfortable with everything,” Lester said.But he’s improved quickly, faster even than Lester expected, and is now on level footing with Hunt and Loeb.It’s helped make Hunt better, too. Lester said that Loeb and John Kinder pushed Hunt well in the spring, but adding Allen and freshmen Mitch Kimble and Austin Wilson has made for a crowded competition that has only elevated Hunt’s play. Over the next few days, though, there should be some clarity.Said Lester: “Now we’re into the unique things that make a quarterback special.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2last_img read more