Swiss pension funds’ net income from investments doubled in 2017, allowing them to strengthen their reserves and reduce underfunding, according to new figures from the federal statistics office.
Investments returned a net CHF64.1bn (€56.8bn), an increase of 104.1% on 2016, “thereby reflecting the good economic situation” in 2017, said the Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS) in a statement today.
Pension funds stocked up their investment reserves by CHF27.6bn and their technical reserves by CHF4bn, and made pension payments of CHF22.6bn, it added.
Investment reserves rose to CHF84.8bn in total – an increase of nearly 50% – and underfunding was cut to CHF32.2bn. The vast majority of underfunding (CHF31.9bn) was at public providers.
As at the end of 2017 Swiss pension funds had CHF894.3bn in total assets, an increase of 8.5% on 2016 volumes, according to the official update. According to IPE’s 2018 guide to the Top 1000 European pension funds, Switzerland’s 10 largest providers had €208.8bn in assets under management as at the end of 2017.
BFS also noted that the number of pension providers with regulated benefits and active members had continued to fall, from 1,713 to 1,643 at the end of 2017.
There were 4.2m active insured individuals and 773,000 retired individuals receiving a pension.
Around 39,000 people demanded a total of CHF7.3bn as a capital or partial capital payment upon retirement, up 7.2% on the year before. The average value of the lump sum payment in 2017 amounted to CHF188,842.