LIECHTENSTEIN - Liechtenstein and Switzerland have signed an agreement to link the principality's corporate pension schemes to the Swiss pension protection fund.

Consequently, since the beginning of this year the pension protection fund also caters for the protection of Liechtenstein's second pillar pension schemes - the agreement between the two countries was reached in December last year.

Mario Gassner of Liechtenstein's financial regulator (FMA) explained that the move was decided last year when a company owner took money directly from the firm's corporate pension funds, causing enormous underfunding in the scheme.

The state had to help fund the scheme, and subsequently decided that there was a need for corporate pension fund protection.

Only the second pillar funds under the old pension regulation, around 40 schemes with around CHF3bn (€1.86bn) assets under management, are protected by the Swiss arrangement.

The second-pillar funds that have been brought into line with the European occupational pension funds directive early this year will not be protected, Gassner told IPE.