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Switzerland's ASIP backs AV2020 reforms

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Switzerland’s occupational pensions association has decided to back the country’s reform package, AV2020.

At its general assembly today, ASIP announced its support for the proposals agreed in parliament earlier this year, after seeking its members’ opinions on the Altersvorsorge 2020/Prévoyance vieillesse 2020 (AV2020/PV2020) reform package.

After considerable back-and-forth, the reform was approved in March. It will go to a referendum, to be held on 24 September.

ASIP said it would focus its referendum campaign efforts on “fact-checking”.

ASIP represents 935 Swiss Pensionskassen, who in turn represent around two-thirds of the country’s population covered by workplace pension plans. Of the 188 members that participated in ASIP’s survey, 159 were in favour of the reform package and 29 against. Of those registering their support, 60 did so with reservations, mainly because of concerns about a CHF70 (€64) monthly top-up of statutory pensions for future pensioners.

“On the basis of these results and after weighing the pros and cons, ASIP says ‘yes’ to the compromise,” the industry association said in a statement.

Given the different structures of ASIP’s member schemes, the association said it was up to each individual pension fund to decide how to position itself in the campaign and how it wanted to inform its members.

ASIP said it would not join any campaign committee, but it would still be involved in the referendum campaign, mainly by running a digital education and fact-checking campaign.

This would highlight the pros and cons of the proposed reform and the consequences of a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ vote, it said.

ASIP’s goal was to improve understanding of pensions-related matters and counter false information, it said.

ASIP has already been running a website pressing the case for reform. Its public position had been to argue that reform was necessary and urgent, and that all stakeholders needed to compromise. After the parliamentary vote in March it said the second pillar amendments should be accepted.

The Swiss general trade union association came out in favour of the reform package, saying that, on balance, it was positive for employees. Employer and commercial federations have come out against the reform. The insurance association has not said backed either side, instead choosing to communicate that it has reservations and considers the proposed reform package “unsatisfactory”.

See IPE’s May magazine for more views about the upcoming referendum 

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