Switzerland: Regulating a Public–Private Heritage of Multipillar Pension Governance

Giuliano Bonoli and Silja Häusermann

in The Varieties of Pension Governance

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586028
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725586 | DOI:
Switzerland: Regulating a Public–Private Heritage of Multipillar Pension Governance

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Switzerland is considered a prototype of a multipillar pension system, including both public and private, pay-as-you-go-financed social insurance and mandatory funded occupational pensions. As many European countries introduced supplementary funded pensions over the last decades, Switzerland has become an instructive case for policymakers looking for lessons in pension fund governance, in particular concerning underfunding and guarantees in defined-contribution (DC) pensions during financial crisis. However, the Swiss case does not provide a simple blueprint of effective regulation: regulation of supplementary pensions not only involves employers and trade unions but it also entails constant political renegotiation. Moreover, the Swiss case also demonstrates the difficulties of effective regulation because governance practice tends to deviate from the formal rules both to the detriment and to the advantage of the sponsors, insured, and benefit recipients.

Keywords: Switzerland; multipillar system; pension reform; mandatory occupational pensions; employers; trade unions; political intervention; defined-contribution pensions; financial crisis; pension fund governance

Chapter.  12030 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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