Swiss private pension funds reached their highest funding ratio on record in the first quarter of this year at 119.1%, up from 115.6% at the end of 2020, according to Swisscanto’s Pensionskassen-Monitor.

Private pension funds built up reserves in Q1 by an average of 3.5 percentage points to 19.1%, taking advantage of favourable conditions on equity markets.

Fully funded public pension funds had a funding ratio of 112.6% in Q1 2021, up from 109.3% at the end of last year. Partially funded public pension funds also saw their funding ratios increasing to 86.6% in Q1 this year from 84.4% at the end of 2020.

Pension schemes’ assets returned 3.55% in the period under review, driven by global equity (11.48%), Swiss equity (5.16%) and commodities (13.85%). Hedge funds returned 1.02%, direct and indirect investment in Swiss real estate yielded 0.90% and global bonds 1.74%, while Swiss bonds -1.20% and global bonds hedged in Swiss francs -2.80%.

The monitor is based on data collected via the Swiss Pension Funds survey conducted by Swisscanto Vorsorge.

Austrian Pensionskassen continue with positive results in Q1

Austrian Pensionskassen generated returns of 1.85% in the first three months of 2021, thanks to positive developments in equity markets and a rising US dollar, according to occupational pension fund association Fachverband der Pensionskassen.

The returns achieved in the first quarter of this year represent a continuation of a positive performance (2.55%) Austrian pension funds recorded in 2020 despite the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andreas Zakostelsky, chair of the Fachverband der Pensionskassen, said however that “a rapid expansion of additional [forms of] pensions by building an appropriate political framework is an important step to secure the quality of life in old age”.

Around one million employees are currently members of pension funds in Austria.

Germany passes location act for industry boost

The German parliament has passed the Fund Location Act – Fondsstandortgesetz (FoG) – as a step to appeal to investors as a prime location for investment funds.

The FoG translates into German law the changes to the Directive 2009/65/ EC and 2011/61/EU through the new Directive (EU) 2019/1160 relating to the cross-border undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), and the changes to the sustainability disclosure rules and Taxonomy.

The Union – Germany’s coalition btween CDU and CSU – along with the Social Democratic party (SDP) voted in favour. The Free Democratic Party, Die Linke, the Greens and the right wing AfD voted against it.

Porsche looks to hire asset pension expert

German sports car manufacturer Porsche is seeking an expert in pension assets management and company pension schemes.

The candidate will have the task to cooperate and lead sub-projects in asset management, execute asset liability studies and develop strategies for pension asset management.

The candidate will also manage existing investments, support the group’s pension plans, participate in external financing projects with a focus on pensions and cooperate to design and implement the corporate finance strategy in the fields of financing, investment, interest and liquidity management.

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