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Swiss watchdog laments ‘rudimentary’ data on pension fund risks

first_imgVera Kupper Staub – former chief executive of the Pensionskasse for Zurich and now vice-president of Switzerland’s top supervisor, the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) – told delegates at the 2014 Swiss Pension Conference (SPC) that pension funds’ investment risks remained “the most difficult to assess”.She said the data on investment risk collected for the OAK’s annual report was “too rudimentary”, with only a “rough breakdown” of the portfolio into equities, bonds, real estate, alternatives, liquidity and unhedged FX-exposure.“But, based on this, it is difficult to really assess the investment risk of a pension fund,” she said.She confirmed that supervisors, pension fund representatives and experts were now discussing new parameters for assessing the risk of pension fund investments, adding that the debate was still “completely open”. Kupper Staub stressed that the OAK was not aiming for a Swiss solvency test for pension funds along the lines of what the Finma, the supervisor for insurers, has put in place for its institutions.For her, the OAK’s main challenges are to “establish a risk dialogue with pension funds”, advance the risk assessment and “establish an understanding that mistakes do happen”.In a personal statement unrelated to her position at the OAK, she noted that the government’s proposal to cap investment in alternatives – as part of the Altersvorsorge 2020 reform – according to a maximum fee level for each pension fund “might not be a good idea”.She pointed out that this would be “a major infringement” on the autonomy of pension fund boards.She added that, under the current system, with trustee boards comprising representatives from both social partners as well as experts, “we have to leave the responsibility for the investment strategy with them”.Kupper Staub noted there was an alternative recommendation by the government to prohibit investments in “opaque” alternative investments, “which is something I can understand”.She also argued that trends towards the individualisation of choices for members within the second pillar were “not in line with the system” or the purposes for which it was created.She said this related particularly to a proposal brought forward by an MP to create tax incentives for pension funds to allow people with higher incomes to take on responsibility to choose their own asset allocation.To date, only a handful of Swiss pension funds have introduced these so-called 1e-plans.Kupper Staub said most people had been shown to make “irrational” choices when it came to long-term savings.“I am not sure whether all these tendencies towards individualisation are really helping the idea behind a Pensionskassen system as a whole,” she said.last_img read more

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AgiproNews’ Italian View – New government faces same old industry dilemmas

first_img Related Articles Share TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 CT Gaming bolsters Italian profile with The Betting Coach  August 27, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon Italian bookmakers face cruel summer as ADM sanctions shop closures July 27, 2020 Share Whatever form the next Italian government takes following this March’s ground-breaking general election results, Italy’s new political taskmasters’ will have to revamp the country’s existing gambling framework.A coalition government, led by the legislative novices of the 5-Star Movement has a daunting task in creating a more cohesive industry framework, in-line with business provisions set out by Italy’s new ‘Stability Law of 2017’.In 2018, Italian betting stakeholders point to three critical industry concerns which must be addressed by the new government.First up, the government will have to adjudicate new proposals to add a further 10,000 new betting points within Italy’s autonomous regions.Set to be delivered this September, the betting industry has met resistance from multiple state regulators, who have implemented laws restricting the operating of betting points near ‘sensitive places’ such as churches, schools and hospitals.Further concerns are raised about whether a new government will move to approve new betting industry provisions, currently being revised by Italy’s Ministry of the Economy.Betting stakeholders seek a strengthening of the national betting code in relation to Asian Handicap offers, operator Cash-Out functionalities and setting fixed policy and clear practices on ‘market disputes’ relating to bookmakers and their customers.From a long-term industry standpoint, the new government will be tested on whether it can finally align Italy’s complex governing framework between the state and autonomous regions, which has affected previous governments presiding the betting sector.Revamping Italy’s gambling agenda, set in a previous agreement the industry had settled on reducing its overall slot machines portfolio by 35% from 400,000 to about 265,000, with licensed operators significantly reducing machine inventory in bars and tobacconists.Nevertheless, set against the constant battle of federal laws versus regional rights, Italy’s new political actors face numerous obstacles in delivering business/commercial alignment… Italian gambling stakeholders will have to wait and see whether 2018 will truly be a year of change!last_img read more

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