SWITZERLAND – The Swiss parliament has approved a change to regulations governing the compulsory professional pensions of unemployed people, lowering contribution rates from 2.2% to 1.1% of daily wage.

The decision - approved due to the small number of claims that have been received - will come into effect from 1 March 2006.

The ruling governs both compulsory contributions and the benefits that unemployed persons receive, according to a statement released by the Federal Department of Economic Affairs,

The reduction means that the monthly amount paid into the fund will drop by roughly CHF1m (€640m).