LIECHTENSTEIN/SWITZERLAND - The Swiss senate has raised questions about the linkage of Liechtenstein's second pillar pension schemes to the Swiss pension protection fund.

Switzerland and neighbouring Liechtenstein signed a pre-agreement in December which should see the principality's 40 or so corporate pension schemes protected by the Swiss arrangement.

Mario Gassner of Liechtenstein's financial regulator (FMA) told IPE at the time the move was decided when the state had to help a scheme which became underfunded because of a lacking corporate pension fund protection.

However, the National Council, the Swiss senate, has not yet ratified the agreement.

The council's commission for social security and health (SGK) has asked Liechtenstein to provide "further information concerning the equal security standards," commission secretary Urs Hänsenberger told IPE today.

Media reports yesterday argued the commission has criticised Liechtenstein's pension supervision, but Hänsenberger has now clarified "nothing was criticised, we have just asked for additional information about the topic to perhaps clear up any reservations".          
Hänsenberger declined to divulge which questions the commission has asked, though he added he expects the ratification to take place eventually.

The commission will look at the agreement again in September