Swiss BVK pension fund opens to employers outside of Zurich

400BVK, the CHF31.8bn (€27.8bn) pension fund for the canton of Zurich, has opened itself up to manage pension plans for employers across the rest of Switzerland. Taking on new schemes would benefit BVK’s risk profile and member structure, it said. It would only accept new joiners if this were in the collective interest of BVK’s existing members and affiliated employers.

Until it was recently changed, BVK’s legal foundation meant the pension fund could only take on new companies if they had a close financial or economic connection to the canton of Zurich.
BVK is the biggest Pensionskasse in Switzerland based on member numbers. It currently operates pension plans for more than 450 employers, covering 115,000 employees.

It lost some employers after making changes in 2015 that exposed members to pension reductions, and had to warn others from being lured away by rival providers.

BVK’s investments gained 5.7% in 2016, according to its annual report. It has outperformed its benchmark for the past five years. 

Separately, BVK has added two pension solutions to its existing product range, meaning affiliated employers can now supplement existing pension plans with additional benefits.

Thomas Schönbächler, chairman of the BVK executive board, said: “With the two new pension plans, we are offering our already affiliated employers the opportunity to make their employment conditions even more attractive and to tailor the provision to their needs.

“Generous supplementary pension plans are becoming increasingly important in the competition for talent.”


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