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Pension Funds Monitor

2nd pillar indicator providing information on coverage ratios and investment performance.

Assessment of the coverage ratio 

The Pension Funds Monitor is a real-time indicator of the financial position in the 2nd pillar. It provides information about the average coverage ratio and the average investment performance of Swiss pension funds. The aim of the Pension Funds Monitor, besides gaining insight on performance, is to provide an indicator that can act as a key criterion for assessing the financial situation of pension institutions.

Information provided by the Monitor

The calculations for the Pension Funds Monitor are based on data from the Pension Funds Study of Swisscanto Pensions Ltd. published annually.

The coverage ratios of the current year are estimated and aggregated for the individual pension plan. Changes on the liabilities side are determined using the historical target returns of the previous year. If no reliable target return can be calculated, the average of the historical target returns is used. The performance of individual asset-side balance sheet items is simulated by means of index performances without deduction of asset management costs and under the assumption that no rebalancing takes place.

The result of the aggregation is the performance of the total assets. Weighted averages are, in principle, used for the estimations at the aggregated level. The weighted and the unweighted averages are given for the performance estimate: the unweighted average is the simple mean of the performance estimates at the level of the individual pension scheme.

We recognise that a consideration of the average coverage ratio alone provides only limited information. Each pension scheme must be considered based on its individual situation.

Current yields

The pension schemes surveyed achieved an estimated asset-weighted return of 5.86% in the first quarter of 2019, one of the best quarters since the financial crisis.

Current funding ratios

Extraordinary investment gains enabled Swiss pension funds to significantly increase their reserves in the first quarter of 2019. Coverage ratios are now again close to late-2017 levels. The development of the coverage ratios (estimates) is as follows:

Pension schemes Funding ratios 2017* in % Funding ratios 31/12/2018 in % Funding ratios 31/03/2019 in %
Private-law funds
114.4 107.7 113.1
Public-law funds,
full capitalisation
101.5 106.9
Public-law funds, partial capitalisation
78.6 83.2

*Results of the Swiss Pension Funds Study 2018

Our publications 

Further documents on the following topics can be found on the German and / or French versions of this page:

  • Brochure "Services of Swisscanto Pensions Ltd."
  • Publication "Pension Funds Monitor"
  • Pension Funds Study

The full results of the Pension Funds Monitor are published four times per year in Zürcher Kantonalbank's "Pensionskassen aktuell" [Pension Funds News] newsletter. The newsletter service is free of charge (available only in German and French).

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