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Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index
A comparison of Swiss pension funds
Published quarterly, the Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index gives a representative,
up-to-date picture of second pillar (employee benefit) investment activity. Thanks to the breadth of its analysis, the index accurately reflects the behavior of pension funds that have a global custody arrangement with Credit Suisse.
A turbulent June pushes YTD performance of the Credit Suisse Pension Fund Index into the red
Performance of Swiss Pension Funds on the Basis of Credit Suisse Global Custody Data as at June 30, 2015.
The Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index, which was launched with a baseline of 100 at the beginning of 2000, fell by 2.55 points or 1.65% in Q2 2015 and stood at 151.98 points as of June 30, 2015. The index essentially moved sideways in April and May (+0.12% and -0.13% respectively), while the fall of 1.64% in June wiped out first-quarter gains and resulted in a marginally negative return of 0.16% for the first half of 2015.
All asset classes, with the sole exception of liquidity, contributed to the negative result in Q2 2015. The largest share in the downturn is due to foreign equities (-0.56%), while Swiss equities (-0.33%), foreign currency bonds (-0.32%), and Swiss franc bonds (-0.30%) all contributed more or less equally to the negative result. Real estate (-0.23%) and alternative investments (-0.06%) also had a negative, if less marked, impact. As in the preceding quarter, the positive contribution made by liquidity (0.18%) is due mainly to gains from current hedging programs.
The index of the BVG mandatory minimum rate of return (currently 1.75% p.a.), which also started with a baseline of 100 in January 2000, rose by 0.64 points (0.43%) to 147.45 in the reporting quarter. This means that the return on the Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index was -2.09% below the BVG target in this quarter.
When interpreting these figures, it must be kept in mind that the Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index is not an artificially constructed performance index but an index based on actual pension fund data. Consequently, the index is “alive,” which significantly increases its informative value regarding the current investment behavior of Swiss pension funds. On the other hand, the fact that it is constantly revised limits the comparability of data over time. The index is nevertheless an up-to-date indicator, especially as highly accurate pension fund data remains difficult to obtain.