LIECHTENSTEIN - The small principality of Liechtenstein, lodged between Switzerland and Austria, has created its first-ever pension fund association, the Liechtensteinischer Pensionskassenverband.

Liechtenstein's eight Pensionskassen have joined forces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and create a central organisation to represent their interests in negotiations with government authorities.

Bruno Matt, head of multi-employer fund LLB Vorsorgestiftung, was elected as the first president, for a period of two years. Walter Fehr, head of multi-employer fund Sozialfonds für das Gewerbe, will be his deputy.

The new association said it wanted to promote certain standards and prevent misconduct to ensure stability and client protection.

It will also aim to improve the quality and reputation of Pensionskassen, it said.

The Liechtensteinischer Pensionskassenverband will be open to all Pensionskassen, which, under Liechtenstein law, differ from the 'Pensionsfonds', as the former covers mandatory second-pillar provision, while the latter manages assets for companies that are granting above mandatory pension schemes.

A spokesperson for the LV 1871 Pensionsfonds in Liechtenstein, run by the German insurer of the same name, told IPE that joining the association was "therefore not an option for us".

The founding members of the new association include LLB Vorsorgestiftung für Liechtenstein (multi-employer fund), Sozialfonds für das Gewerbe (multi-employer fund), Pensionsversicherung für das Staatspersonal (public pension fund) and Hilti Pensionskasse (company pension fund).

The remaining four founding members are Personalvorsorgestiftung der Landesbank (company pension fund), Personalfürsorgestiftung der Gemeinde Eschen (public pension fund), Personalvorsorgestiftung der OC Oerlikon Balzers AG (company pension fund) and Presta Stiftung (company pension fund).