As a provider of comprehensive services in the context of occupational and private pensions, Swisscanto Pensions Ltd. established the Swisscanto 1e Collective Foundation to complete its portfolio of pension products. This decision was prompted by the fact that the cancellation of the minimum guarantees pursuant to Art. 15 and 17 of the Federal Act on Vesting in Pension Plans (Vested Benefits Act, FZG) created the statutory framework that provides a certain amount of scope for individualising the investment options for extra-mandatory pension assets.
This new pension solution takes its rather technical name from the relevant article of the Ordinance on Occupational Retirement, Survivors' and Disability Pension Plans (BVV2, Art. 1e).
The introduction of 1e plans has made it possible to offer pension plans with different investment strategies. This option, however, is only available for extra-mandatory pension assets, i.e. only for salary components above 1.5 times the upper limit (currently from CHF 127,980).
According to the new Article 19a FZG (in force since 1 October 2017), termination benefits will in future be calculated so as to ensure that insured persons receive the actual value of their investment strategy upon leaving a pension fund.
Due to the nature of things it soon became clear, however, that such a pension solution cannot be offered by the usual BVG all-inclusive pension funds that still remain subject to the minimum requirements of the Vested Benefits Act. This is why separate 1e foundations have to be set up to offer 1e pension solutions.
From the point of view of the employer, affiliation with a 1e collective foundation not only makes sense because of the high degree of transparency of these solutions, but also because it allows employers to offer their employees an attractive and modern pension solution, in particular if operated via an electronic platform. For pension solutions with fully reinsured risk benefits, the insured persons bear the investment risk.
The individual investment strategies allow employees to invest their pension assets according to their personal needs and risk tolerance. This gives insured persons a high degree of flexibility and greater responsibility. Thanks to online access, insured persons can obtain information at any time about the performance of their pension assets and periodically change the strategy, if needed.
The Swisscanto 1e Collective Foundation currently offers six different investment strategies of the Swisscanto Investment Foundation and Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank.
The long road to flexible choice of investment strategy
Since the entry into force of the third part of the BVG revision on 1 January 2006, unregistered pension schemes can offer different investment strategies. To allow the selection of flexible investment strategies (Art. 1 para. 3 of the Federal Act on Occupational Retirement, Survivors' and Disability Pension Plans, BVG in conjunction with Art. 1e BVV2), the relevant provisions of the Vested Benefits Act (Art. 15 para. 2 and Art. 17 FZG) had to be amended.
- On 03/10/2008, National Councillor Jürg Stahl filed a motion
- On 12/12/2008, the Federal Council called for the adoption of the motion
- On 19/12/2008, the motion was adopted by the National Council
- On 03/03/2010, the motion was adopted by the Council of States
- Until 30/11/2015 the treatment and Commission debates will take place
- On 30/11/2015, the revision of the law was adopted
- By Despatch of 30 August 2017, the Federal Council put the long-awaited amendment of the Vested Benefits Act and the Ordinance on the Amendments to the BVV2 into force.This paved the way for the (unrestricted) operational implementation.