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Swiss schemes call for rules to be relaxed

Swiss occupational pension funds want investment regulations relaxed, according to a survey by Swisscanto Asset Management.
“A large number of the pension institutions are in favour of a relaxation of the investment regulations,” Swisscanto said. The survey was conducted in association with ASIP, the Association of Swiss Pension Funds.
It said that “markedly more than half” of the 224 pension institutions surveyed, representing CHF314bn (€201bn) – reckon the BVV2 investment guidelines stand in the way of an optimal asset allocation.
“The points mentioned include the restrictions regarding the use of alternative investments, such as hedge funds, private equity, commodities, and also the level of the foreign currency quota,” Swisscanto said. It added that the desire for more flexible investment limits is being expressed to the legislator. The investment guidelines should not be geared to formal investment categories, but to the economic criteria of yield and risk.
However, just 25% of respondents wanted a “general abandonment” of investment regulations.
Swisscanto found that the asset-weighted degree of cover has risen from an average 103% to 109%.
The funds made a return on investments of 11.1% in 2005. This took the mean yield over the last six years to an annualised 2.5% – still “far below” the 5.2% required.
Swisscanto is the Swiss Cantonal banks’ joint venture for investment and pension services.

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