SWITZERLAND - The CHF 32.5bn (€22.7bn) Swiss Publica fund has reported a 10.13% performance for 2009 but plans to make organisational changes in the future.

Last year's result was the best performance for the fund since its inception in 2003, according to its preliminary 2009 report, bringing it back above a full funding level to 102.4%.(see earlier IPE-story: Pensionskasse begets pensionskasse)

"This is in fact an overfunding but the risk buffer of 2% is more than thin," the multi-employer fund Publica pointed out.

Therefore, the fund will introduce separate asset allocations with lower risks for those portfolios which no longer take on members.

For 2009 the fund also made its first minor foray into commodities with an 0.8% exposure.

Meanwhile, UBS has developed a Pensionskassen barometer, adding to the growing number of Swiss pension fund indices. (see earlier IPE-story: Real estate lowered Swiss returns in 2009)

According to UBS' calculations, Swiss pension funds returned 2.1% in Q1 2010.
UBS also looked at the cumulated performance since 2006 which "has been positive for nine months now" and currently stands at 6.2%.

Over a three-year period, larger pension funds performed better than smaller ones, the bank noted.

"Likely reasons for this are positive effects of diversification and risk management as well as the comparatively large heterogeneity of smaller pension funds," it was noted.

UBS also pointed out that in the first three months of 2010 "all asset classes made a positive contribution to performance" with equities (both domestic and foreign) making the most return.