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Swiss pensions official quits to join consultant

SWITZERLAND - Jürg Brechbühl, deputy director of the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Agency (BSV), is to leave his post in August to start a career in pension consulting.

He told IPE he will leave the agency at the end of August and will start with a Swiss pension consultant between September and October, though he declined to name the company. His successor has not yet been chosen.

Interior minister Pascal Couchepin said in a statement that he thanked Brechbühl for his work “and significant engagement with the field in difficult times, which have seen many reforms in the AHV and BVG”.

Brechbühl, who has been with the BSV since 1982, has focused on different fields, such as the first pillar, AHV, and pension and invalidity benefits within both the AHV and the corporate pension fields.

BSV director Yves Rossier regretted that the BSV had lost his professional competence. But he was happy Brechbühl was able to take advantage of a new professional opportunity.

Meanwhile Swiss Pension Fund Association, ASIP, has called on Couchpin to leave the minimum pension age for the first pillar at 55 rather than raise it to 60, as the Federal Council has suggested

ASIP head Hans Ender told the Swiss press that although Couchpin seemed genuinely worried about the state of some pension funds, the decision was “arbitrary and absurd”.

ASIP maintains that many pension funds are healthy enough to grant early retirement between 55 and 57 years of age and that 90% of the pension funds polled by Couchpin’s consultation are contrary to the retirement age increase.

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