Expert supports full-funding holiday
SWITZERLAND - A Swiss pension consultant is supporting a call by Swiss centre-left politicians to postpone putting money into the Pensionskasse Basle-City during the current economic crisis. Political parties in the Swiss canton are arguing about whether or not to fully fund the Pensionskasse at present or instead use the government money to boost its economy. (See earlier IPE-article: To fund or not to fund now - a Basle question) But pensions consultant Martin Wechsler has also now entered the debate on the side of the Socialist SP Basel-Stadt, which fears money put into the pension fund now would be wasted. "This financial hole, which has been torn into the fund by investments, can only be filled again by investment," he explained. "If there was an attempt to fill the gap now with additional contributions, they would have to be enormous over the next few years." He noted this would be similar to the proverbial "drop in the ocean" and would create a "fall into cyclical behaviour". Wechsler is convinced it makes more sense at present, from an economic point of view, to wait with filling the hole in the pension fund. Meanwhile, the Swiss Pensionskasse Pro, a pension fund targeted at small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Switzerland, revealed its funding level has remained stable at around 92% despite the financial crisis. The fund beat its benchmark the Pictet index as of end-November by 0.6 percentage points with a return for the ten months of -7.28%.