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Majority of pension funds run into the red

The global financial crisis has left almost six out of ten pension funds in Switzerland undercapitalised, the Federal Social Insurance Office said on Monday.

Close to 57 per cent of funds were unable to meet their obligations at the end of March, authorities said. Of those, two-thirds were capitalised between 90 and 100 per cent. The rest were capitalised below 90 per cent.

Some 43 per cent of a total of 1,900 funds nationwide were in sound financial shape. By the end of last year, the figure stood at 50 per cent.

Funds that are running a deficit have until the end of June to submit corrective action to the industry’s supervisory authority. Under Swiss law, any gap must be absorbed within a maximum of ten years.

Funds may pay out lower interest rates or could ask for contributions from policyholders and employers to rectify their shortfalls. Under federal regulations, they are not permitted to wait for the economy to stabilise to shore up their portfolios.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR