Several large Swiss pension funds are switching from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) in a relatively hard line manner. Instead of going the usual route of closing the DB scheme to new members or opting for a buy-out, they are shutting it down and transferring members to a DC module. It has not been easy, but it appears to have worked.
The SFr22bn (£10.6bn, €13.8bn, $21.3bn) UBS pension fund began the massive operation to transfer its members from DB to DC in 2001. Christoph Schenk, managing director and chairman of the investment board at the scheme, says the move was officially completed in 2006, but in many ways the process is still going on.