SWITZERLAND - The Swiss pension fund association ASIP is considering the introduction of quality screening for education institutes offering training for trustees and pension managers.

"There is a legal requirement for retirement schemes to pay for the education of their executives," explained new ASIP president Christoph Ryter, "and our organisation is looking into how to support schemes in that process".

Ryter, who was elected last week to succeed Hans Ender, also wants to set up a working group within the organisation to help Pensionskassen implement legal requirements on the governance side and come up with suggestions how to further improve governance.

He told IPE further legislation on pension fund governance was likely to be passed in the summer. "I think that we already have enough legislation," he said. "What it needs now is for Pensionskassen to implement the regulations and maybe do something more beyond it."

Following up on what his predecessor started, Ryter wants to continue the discussion around current political issues like the conversion rate for occupational pension benefits or the minimum interest rate for pension savings.

"These things should not be part of the political debate," he argued. "They should be based on longevity assumptions and funding level of the Pensionskassen."

High on the ‘to-do' list for this year is also to check with Pensionskassen and the government whether any changes to the legislation are needed in order to ensure Switzerland, as a non-EU member, can still participate in the cross-border pensions market.

"We will have to see where it would be of advantage for pension funds to maybe make changes to the legislation or sign bi-lateral treaties with EU member states," Ryter said. "The political discussion is not going to be easy," he added.