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The Swiss Federal Pension Fund PUBLICA is an independent pension institution established under public law. It is organised as a collective institution currently comprising 18 pension plans. PUBLICA advises some 66,000 active members and around 42,000 pension recipients from the Federal Administration, the ETH Domain and other decentralised administrative units as well as around 70 other organisations that are closely associated with the Confederation or fulfil a public task on behalf of the Confederation, a canton or a commune. With total assets currently standing at approximately 44,0 billion Swiss francs it is one of the largest pension funds in Switzerland. Its highest management and strategic body is the PUBLICA Board of Directors.

PUBLICA improves financial stability in 2021 and moves forward with responsible investment

In 2021, PUBLICA achieved an overall performance of 4.4%, became more stable as the funded ratios of its pension plans rose, and reduced administrative expenses. The Swiss Federal Pension Fund also took further steps in terms of responsible investment.

2021 was a positive year overall for the financial markets. Equities gained further ground and real estate also generated large profits, while most bonds delivered negative returns owing to rising interest rates. PUBLICA achieved an overall performance for the year of 4.4%. For its open pension plans, PUBLICA’s strategic asset allocation has a 27% equity component. Here the performance was 4.6% (prior year: 4.2%). The lower-risk strategic asset allocation for the closed pension plans, which has a 10% equity component, returned a performance of 2.1% (prior year: 3.9%). Both strategies are more conservative than those of the average Swiss pension fund, and consequently posted a lower performance in 2021.

PUBLICA became more financially stable in 2021. The funded ratios of the pension plans rose. Generational tables are now used when compiling the accounts, which better reflect reality in terms of pension undertakings given increasing life expectancy. There have also been positive developments in terms of PUBLICA’s cost structure. Administrative expenses per active member / pension recipient fell again year on year, to an average of CHF 148 (prior year: CHF 152). Asset management expenses remain low, at 0.24%.

Commenting on the results, PUBLICA’s Director Doris Bianchi said: “We look back on a year that was once again dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the great commitment, flexibility and adaptability of our staff, governing bodies and other partners, we achieved good results in 2021.”

PUBLICA believes it is important to communicate clearly and simply with its insured members, and to this end it launched the digital active member portal myPUBLICA in 2021. This allows the approximately 67,000 active members to access their current pension data and pension certificate, simulate various scenarios and make voluntary buy-ins. PUBLICA reports its main investments transparently in the portal, allowing members to view their pro-forma exposure to each asset class at the click of a mouse.

PUBLICA’s investment activity is not just transparent and cost-efficient: it is also responsible. It is constantly taking further steps to achieve the goal of net zero emissions in its portfolio by 2050. This commitment is guided by the Paris Agreement on climate change and supports the measures already implemented to manage the opportunities and risks of climate change.

There were also important staff changes during 2021. Elections for all the members of the PUBLICA Board of Directors, the supreme parity commission, took place in the middle of the year. Of the 16 members elected, nine are new. Following the election, younger insured members and women are more strongly represented on the Board. PUBLICA’s Assembly of Delegates also appointed a new chair, while PUBLICA welcomed two new members to its Executive Board.

Annual Report 2021 (PDF 6.1 MB)
 

For further information, contact:

Contact:
Beatrice Rychen, Head of Corporate Communications: beatrice.rychen@publica.ch; +41 58 485 21 11

14.04.2022

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