Middle management pension plans for companies: The 1e pension plan

With 1e pension plans, companies can offer their employees more freedom in structuring their pension plans, while also receiving attractive benefits themselves – for example, easing the burden on the company's balance sheet.

Pension assets are among the most privileged corporate holdings – in terms of both taxation and prior claims in the case of bankruptcy. The investment strategy chosen is now becoming increasingly important, and 1e pension solutions offer more possibilities and tactical advantages for entrepreneurs and middle management.

Pension plans for middle management with 1e pension plans

1e solutions are not only aimed at entrepreneurs, but also at employees in middle management with an income of over CHF 129,060. 1e pension assets are fully segregated from existing pension fund assets, and relate exclusively to the extra-mandatory part of employee benefits insurance. The insured can determine the investment strategy themselves and save into their own "pot."

 

It is also now possible to adjust your strategy directly in the Credit Suisse online portal. You can keep a clear overview of your investment strategies at all times by reviewing your individual pension documents and simulating different scenarios.

Variable implementation possible

Companies that want to make use of the 1e plans must insure the corresponding salary components with a separate legal entity. As a result, a second foundation is being set up in addition to the first foundation for salaries in the mandatory and extra-mandatory insurance up to the 1e salary limit. This covers extra-mandatory pension provision for salaries above the limit.

If a company offers 1e pension plans, all employees who meet the criteria defined in accordance with pension regulations must insure these salary components as part of the 1e pension solution. The employer can also set the limit for the 1e solution higher than CHF 129,060. To implement 1e pension plans, it is advisable to either set up a dedicated new foundation or to join a collective foundation with 1e pension plans.

A fiscally attractive option for companies

1e solutions offer attractive tax benefits to companies. For example, 1e plans serve as a tactical instrument in withdrawal strategy – this is of particular interest when considered against the backdrop of the increase in dividend taxation resulting from tax regulation 17.

Five concrete benefits for employers:

  1. 1e plans are paid out in the form of capital, reducing pension obligations and restructuring obligations.
  2. The risk of covering asset losses with a part of the pension assets is reduced.
  3. A 1e plan does not need to be entered as a pension obligation according to international accounting rules and can be removed from the balance sheet. This releases equity capital.
  4. Pension plans for middle management make it possible to transfer company assets to private assets in the most tax-efficient way.
  5. Through the introduction of 1e plans, companies can enhance their appeal to employees, as they provide professionals with the opportunity to map their personal risk ability and risk appetite.

Greater freedom to make decisions for the insured

From the insured's perspective, 1e pension plans are the answer to an increasing desire to individualize pension solutions. Insured participants in a 1e pension plan have more flexibility in their investments, allowing them to take advantage of higher potential returns. In addition, they don't need to accept any redistribution between employed persons and pensioners that is incompatible with the system on this part of their pension assets, because the balance of the 1e pension plan is no longer part of the collective balance in the mandatory and extra-mandatory insurance.

Interview with Hans Baumgartner

Hans Baumgartner is Head of Entrepreneurs & Executives Switzerland at Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. and has been at the Bank for Entrepreneurs for 30 years. In this interview, he talks about when 1e pension solutions are useful and how these plans can provide opportunities.

04/10/2022

Credit Suisse has established the Collective Foundation 1e. Who are 1e pension solutions most suitable for?

Whether or not a company should implement a 1e pension solution depends on the needs and expectations of its employees. In any case, the implementation and set-up of the solution needs to be discussed thoroughly. A 1e plan must work for both the company and its employees.

 

So what conditions do companies and employees need to meet?

1e plans are primarily investment based, meaning that a longer investment time horizon is beneficial. As a result, 1e solutions tend to suit companies with an age structure that is relatively young. The income structure also plays a role: It needs to be considered whether the company has any employees with a total annual remuneration of more than CHF 129,060, because only the portion of the salary that exceeds this amount can be insured in a 1e plan.

 

How are 1e pension plans introduced?

If the basic framework conditions have been met, the company must analyze its current situation. The following questions should be addressed: What pension solution is already in place? Is there an all-encompassing solution alongside which a 1e plan is to be offered? Or is there already an additional executive solution that will be replaced by a 1e plan? The specific initial situation will determine how a 1e plan is introduced.

 

What investment opportunities are available to the insured?

Depending on the company's 1e plan, insured persons may choose from up to ten investment strategies. One of these is low risk. Unlike other pension solutions, insured persons have an investment risk with the 1e plans. That's why it is very important that every insured person seeks advice when choosing an investment strategy and regularly reviews their portfolio. A personal Credit Suisse advisor can be assigned to you on request to provide you with individual advice. The insured must also be aware that they are taking on a certain level of investment risk. But this does also creates opportunities, with positive performance credited directly to the investors.

 

What fees must insured persons pay?

The insured will benefit from low institutional investment fees, which are usually only available to pension funds. Mixed assets can be actively managed for an annual fee of 0.45%. There are also no costs associated with changing the investment strategy for these products. Indexed mixed assets are even cheaper, with an annual fee of 0.20%. What's more, these passive products are subject to even lower issue and exit fees. This makes them particularly suitable for very long-term oriented investors who rarely want to change investment strategies.

 

Do you have any tips on how investors can optimize their strategy?

The strategy should be reviewed on a regular basis. The choice of a conservative strategy or a strategy that is riskier, but may yield higher returns, needs to reflect the individual's overall situation. Shortly before retirement, for example, it may be wise to shift to less risky investments. It is important to note, however, that investment strategies can be regularly modified, for example in response to a change in a person's financial situation.

Do you want to structure employee benefits insurance in your company?