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Reforms approved to strengthen pension supervision

Parliament has paid heed to the wish of voters and approved plans to reform Switzerland’s occupational pension scheme in an effort to rein in costs.

On the final day of its spring session, parliament agreed to introduce measures to improve governance, transparency and regulation.

The structural reforms call for the creation of a federal supervisory body and a strengthening of supervision through cantonal and regional authorities.

The reforms are to be introduced in stages, beginning in January 2011, when measures will come into force making it easier for older members of the Swiss population to re-enter the workforce.

Stricter governance regulations will be introduced in mid-2011 with the new supervisory body beginning its work in January 2012.

On March 7, voters overwhelmingly rejected a government plan - backed by parliament – which would effectively have reduced benefits by lowering the conversion rate used to calculate payments.

Trade unions, which led opposition to the proposal, said one of the main culprits for the high costs of the occupational pension plan was an inefficient administration.

The scheme is one part of a three-tier pension system. The others are the state pension plan and a voluntary programme based on tax deductible contributions. and agencies

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