PVK, the CHF2bn (€1.62bn) Pensionskasse for the city of Bern, has confirmed it will lower the discount rate and call on employees to increase their contributions.

The trustee board accepted the proposal to increase the funding gap over the short term to adjust the technical parameters.

The PVK is looking at a shortfall of CHF341m from next year – the deficit is currently CHF108m – but it has 40 years to achieve full funding, as the city of Bern opted for Switzerland’s part-capitalisation model.

From 2015, employees will have to increase their contributions, the pension for members’ spouses will be cut and the vesting period to achieve the highest conversion rate will be expanded.

The board expects the fund to generate another CHF200m through investment returns.

In other news, verdicts have been handed down in the 2006 embezzlement case at the First Swiss Pensionskasse.

Former trustees, the president and his deputy were accused of embezzling more than CHF33m from the scheme.

They were sentenced to time in prison but have appealed the verdict, according to Vorsorgeforum, the Swiss platform on the second pillar.

The judges noted that the management board never had any authorisation to transfer assets to a third party.

The defendants’ legal representatives conceded that their clients’ choice of external asset manager had been “a mistake”, notwithstanding good references.

The judges also placed part of the blame on the supervisory authorities – particularly the Swiss Social Ministry BSV – which, they said, took too long to intervene.

Lastly, the CHF1bn Swiss collective pension fund Stiftung Abendrot, which investing solely according to ESG criteria, has reported a 5% performance, as of the end of November.

In the previous year, the fund had returned just over 6%.

Based on this annual performance, the trustee board decided to guarantee a 1.75% interest on active members’ assets, slightly higher than the 1.5% granted in 2012.