The inclusion of pensioner benefits in recovery measures for underfunded pension funds was the subject of intense debate at an industry conference. A survey of 76 trustees, conducted at the Fachmesse zweite Säule conference, showed that 60% of funds had to implement recovery measures, including contribution increases, as well as possible cuts in the pension promises or hikes in the retirement age.
Under current Swiss regulations, pension benefits in payment cannot be altered. But the survey showed that many trustees were concerned about the potential inter-generational injustice this could cause, with the issue being raised in 84% of discussions concerning recovery measures.
“Legal changes are necessary and certain parameters should be defined under which contributions by pensioners should be made possible,” said Olivier Deprez, actuary and member of the Swiss commission for the review of the second pillar.
Brigitte Schmid, head of the Swiss Re Pensionskasse, said she wanted pensioner participation in recovery measures in schemes of companies that only pay the legal minimum into their pension funds, and which therefore have less leeway than more generous plans.