SVSP InfoTalk reloaded – external keynote speaker
A fresh start in May – or in April in the case of the SSPA’s revamped InfoTalk. This quarterly get-together, including a sector update, offered an expanded range of participants the opportunity to receive up-to-date information about structured products, while at the same time obtaining insights from an external keynote speaker into the current asset allocation of Swiss pension funds. Dr Ueli Mettler, Partner at c-alm and Chairman of the SWIC (Swiss Association of Pension Fund Consultants) explained that pension funds continue to face huge challenges on account of the low-interest environment – because it so difficult to generate returns. While pension funds are bound in their investment options by Articles 50 to 57 of the Ordinance on Occupational Old Age, Survivors’ and Disability Pension Plans, BVV2, the limits specified therein are not binding and can easily be exceeded, according to Mettler. This is also true in accordance with Article 50 sec 4 BVV2 – according to a Swisscanto survey, 44 percent of pension funds are already making use of this. Credit Suisse data also shows that investments are gradually being shifted from bonds to investment classes with higher anticipated returns. He personally considers the use of structured products in pension funds to be perfectly admissible from a regulatory perspective, as they provide access to an expanded investment universe, to a lower tax burden or lower costs. In short: Mettler supports the use of structured products in pension funds, as they provide investors with investment instruments that entail a lower credit risk than other vehicles. The SSPA was right to enter into in dialogue with the OAC.