Mercer | An overview of the situation: Why modify the 1e plans?

An overview of the situation: Why modify the 1e plans?

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An overview of the situation: Why modify the 1e plans?
An overview of the situation: Why modify the 1e plans?
Calendar07 November 2017

Employers may offer their employees who earn more than CHF 126,900 per year a pension plan that allows an individual choice from different investment strategies. In this context, the term '1e-plans' is used, referring to the legal basis, namely article 1e of the Ordinance on Occupational Retirement, Survivors' and Disability Pension Plans (BVV 2).

Until now, such offerings have not been implemented as widely as expected. The reason might be existing statutory restrictions, as the requirements specified by the Federal Act on Vesting in Pension Plans (FZG) also had to be met by 1e-plans and the pension plan had therefore to pay out a statutory minimum amount in the event of a departure out of an insured person. In cases where the chosen investment strategy resulted in losses, this meant that the pension fund and the remaining insured persons had to bear the losses instead of the departing individual.

Since the new article 19a of the Federal Act on Vesting in Pension Plans (FZG) has entered into force on 1st October 2017, a new method of calculating the termination benefits makes it possible to transfer the effective value of the employees' retirement savings at the time of their departure. Any losses must therefore be borne by the employee himself or herself. To ensure a certain degree of protection for the employees, 1e-pension funds have to offer at least one low-risk investment strategy in the future.

This enables companies to offer attractive pension solutions to their employees in the higher salary segment and, at the same time, to reduce their own pension liabilities. They can adapt their existing pension plans and, depending on the size of the company, can either set up their own 1e-pension fund or choose products of this sort from collective institutions.

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