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Individual Choice in Social Protection: The Case of Swiss Pensions


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  • Monika Queisser
  • Edward R. Whitehouse


In most OECD countries, the structure of the pension system does not give much potential for individual choice. The Swiss pension system is a particularly interesting case in this respect. Switzerland relies heavily on privately-managed, fully-funded pensions, which employers are obliged to provide. The employees have only a very limited range of individual choice within this system and there has been increasing political pressure to give members more control over their benefits. More choice would increase competition among funds, lead to higher returns on investment of pension funds, improve customer services and result in higher member satisfaction due to more tailored benefit packages. This paper examines the choices currently available to members of occupational pension schemes in Switzerland and how they are making use of these options. It goes on to consider which expansions in choice might be desirable and what obstacles may be in the way of such changes. A particular ... Dans la plupart des pays de l'OCDE, la structure du système de pensions ne laisse pas une grande marge de manoeuvre aux individus. Le système de pensions suisse est particulièrement intéressant à cet égard. La Suisse s'appuie largement sur des pensions à gestion privée, entièrement capitalisées, que les employeurs sont tenus de mettre en place. Les salariés n'ont que des possibilités de choix très limitées dans ce système et les pressions politiques se font de plus en plus vives pour que l'on donne un plus large pouvoir de contrôle aux membres sur leurs prestations. Une plus grande liberté de choix augmenterait la concurrence entre les fonds de pension, conduirait à un meilleur rendement sur les investissements des fonds, améliorerait le service rendu au consommateur et se traduirait par une satisfaction accrue des membres du fait que l'offre de prestations serait mieux adaptée à la situation de chacun. Ce document examine les choix actuellement accessibles aux membres des ...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 11.

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Date of creation: 06 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:11-en

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Cited by:
  1. Monika Bütler & Stefan Staubli, 2010. "Payouts in Switzerland: Explaining Developments in Annuitization," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen 2010-06, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. Opielka, Michael, 2008. "Grundeinkommen als umfassende Sozialreform: Zur Systematik und Finanzierbarkeit am Beispiel des Vorschlags Solidarisches Bürgergeld," Edition HWWI: Chapters, in: Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen und Solidarisches Bürgergeld - mehr als sozialutopische Konzepte, pages 129-175 Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).


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