Publica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund, is planning a makeover of the pension plans it runs in line with changes that haven been taking place in the job market and with the type of families in modern societies, it announced yesterday.

Employees are more likely to change jobs nowadays, or work for more than one employer, and family structures have become more diverse in modern societies, the pension fund said explaining the reasons to upgrade the pension plans.

Publica delegates met on 17 November to hold discussions on how to improve the schemes, particularly focusing on part-time employee membership and how to adjust lump-sum benefits to survivors in the event of a worker’s death during employment.

The same applies to the amount and entitlement to a disability pension.

Publica has also held talks with stakeholders, specifically with board of directors and the bodies of the 11 pension plans it runs.

The board of directors – Kassenkommission – will make the final decision on how to improve the schemes in 2023. The next delegates meeting will take place on 22 March, 2023.

Meanwhile, the Swiss government (Federal Council) has decided to shut down the Swiss International VET Academy (SFUVET) pension fund, which is run by Publica, and to move existing retirees to the federal pension plan.

Moreover, the government has clarified federal pension regulations to make sure that employees continue to be insured against the risks of death and disability following the end of the obligation to continue paying wages, and until the end of the employment relationship.

Rules on social benefits applying to the ETH Domain pension plan, also run by Publica and including two Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and Lausanne (EPFL), and four research institutes, have been changed, so that the minimum age of 60 (currently 58) will also apply to the ETH fund in the event of early retirement as a result of restructuring the social plan.

Since July, same-sex couples in Switzerland have been able to marry or convert their registered partnership into a marriage. At the same time, there isn’t an obligation to register new partnerships. Existing registered partnerships continue to be taken into account under the rules relating to the pension plans, Publica said.

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