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Swiss government weighs further changes to pension system

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The Swiss government is weighing amendments to the supervisory structure of the second-pillar pension system, as well as strengthening governance at first-pillar scheme AHV. 

It commissioned the Interior Ministry to draw up a reform plan in which the responsibilities of implementing organisations, as well as the first-pillar supervisor, are stated more precisely and, where necessary, “disentangled”. 

Further, accounting, reporting and administration costs are to be brought up to date by applying unified and defined standards.

The changes will also be applied to smaller first-pillar funds such as the EO, the fund for maternity leave and military service, and the fund for so-called Ergänzungsleistungen, or people who have too little money in their retirement.

The government said the supervisory structure for the second pillar, implemented in 2012, had “proven itself” but could be “optimised in certain areas”.

Three years ago, the federal supervisory authority Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) was created.

At the same time, the mostly cantonal supervisory authorities were merged to form larger regional bodies.

With the next step of the reform, the Swiss government wants to further strengthen the independence of these regional authorities from cantonal bodies.

This means representatives from cantonal governments will no longer sit on the boards of these authorities.

A further reform proposal for Pensionskassen is to state the responsibilities of pensions advisers and auditors more precisely and differentiate them more clearly.

The government gave the Interior Ministry until the end of 2016 to come up with a draft reform.

“The aim is to achieve a risk and impact-oriented supervision for the whole social system,” the government said.

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