3a solution from Finpension

The spirit of this law is to protect the future pension of standard pension funds (pillar 2). The goal is to avoid that pension fund not being able to pay the current pension anymore. A standard pension fund needs to pay pensions every month whatever the returns. That’s why articles 50-55 recommend allocations. But the article 50 al 4 allows changing this recommendation based on the fund situation.

A standard pension fund couldn’t have 100% stock because the value at risk would be too high, so the risk to run out of money. Because you have this link between asset and liabilities.

In short, Finpension is under 50 al 4, so there are align with the law. Don’t you agree?

I don’t think the regulation really takes into account DIY investment products within a foundation. My understanding is that the spirit of the regulation (and the recent change to art. 50, see the pdf shared earlier) was to remove the hard limits for funds that are managed (it’s explicitly inspired by the “prudent investor rule”).

Anyway I don’t think there would be massive downsides, if the regulator decides it’s not ok, worst case the product change or you have to transfer out, but there shouldn’t be any loss directly due to this.

Edit: and to be clear, I like the innovation from viac/frankly/finpension, and as a consumer that’s what I want :slight_smile:

I think there is a mix up between “standard” pension funds (2nd pillar) that have to pay out pensions at retirement age vs 3rd pillar (3a) solutions like those offered by Finpension.

3rd pillars don’t pay pensions at retirement, you need to get your capital out and that’s the end of the story. The 3a foundation has no problem after retirement, no liabilities.

Finpension also offers other solutions like 1e and vested benefits, but these solutions also don’t have any liabilities at retirement, as the account holder is required to get his capital (not a pension).

In clear: finpension is not a regular pension fund; you cannot work somewhere and ask to be affiliated to finpension (with the exception of 1e solution, but this is not mandatory and regulated differently).


Why do you think there’s a mix up? Many (most?) of the regulations are shared. The regulators could have done things differently if that’s what they intended (e.g. if that was just a pre-tax retirement account with freedom of investment like some countries have).

You are right, most regulations are shared. Maybe I wasn’t clear.

In a traditional pension fund that pays a pension, you need to match your assets and liabilities. That is what they call “security of realization of retirement planning” (sorry, just my simple translation of Art 50, al 2 OPP2). But what happens when you have no “retirement planning”? (ie: you don’t pay any pensions) Then you can deviate from the investment limits if you prove in your annual report that you respect Art 50, al 1-3.

I am not sure if the law was interpreted more leniently, but it’s been a couple of years that we have seen 3a solutions with almost 100% equities (UBS offers for example Vitainvest 100 since November 2018).

You are right that “the regulators could have done things differently”, but in my opinion it was easier to leave the current law and just interpret it a little more liberally. Also, we have to keep in mind that these laws were instituted before we had negative interest rates, so times were different.

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I think the difference is that it’s a fund, they decide what gets in it in the end (and it’s still 20% CH equity). It explicitly calls out its compliance to BVV regulations.

If you were to invest in 100% bitcoin through finpension (is that possible), it’s not like the bitcoin fund can say it follows BVV regulation right? Isn’t there a difference between having a fund with explicit BVV compliance and full freedom of asset allocations?

Of course. I don’t think that Finpension allows you to put whatever asset you want in your allocation. I suppose they only allow some pre-screened funds and you get to choose from that authorized list. Sorry, no bitcoins :upside_down_face:

It could be considered as an alternative asset. A vested benefit pension could allow an allocation of X% in bitcoin if a financial product exists (like a bitcoin ETF). Viac offer Gold and private equity.

However, a 100% allocation wouldn’t be aligned with this rule:
“3 When investing the assets, the pension fund must comply with the principle of appropriate risk diversification; in particular, the funds must be distributed among various investment categories, regions and economic sectors”

The pre-screened funds are chosen by the pension fund. There is not list.

Thanks again for sharing this. I did my own exercise following and adapting your template:


In case it helps someone.

My main issue is to find the data. In the CS factsheets the country breakdown is not always there, so I had to google it (for example I found emerging markets in teletrader.com with a bit of luck). Is there a good reference website to have country, industry split ect. instead of hoping it is in the factsheets?

How to find the market cap of the swiss indexes?

Also I’m not sure to understand fully the share class and some wording in the fund names. So here’s my newbie questions:

“Blue” means “Blue chips”? If not what does it mean?

A indicate distributing share classes (source credit suisse, see below)
B indicates accumulating share classes (source credit suisse, see below)
H indicates for hedged share classes (source credit suisse, see below)

All CSIF (CH) in Switzerland are licensed for distribution in Switzerland. All CSIF (Lux) and CSIF (IE) are licensed for distribution in the following countries: AT/CH/DE/ES/FR/UK/IT/LU/NL/SE/SG/LI/IE. The suffix “TR” after an index name stands for “total return” (gross dividends reinvested); “NR” stands for “net return” (net dividends reinvested). Q share classes are reserved to Qualified Investors, whereas the F and B share class can be subscribed by both qualified and private investors. Denominations containing the letter A indicate distributing share classes, the letter B indicates accumulating share classes. H indicates for hedged share classes. Source: Credit Suisse, as of 30.09.2020.


Finpension has launched a web interface :slight_smile:

@ProvidentRetriever @leginj

I’m quite impressed it was fast and in time


Thanks for the news, I was waiting on that. Finpension will be my 3a for 2021 :wink:

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I have my 3a with Viac but maybe I’ll study the Finpension option.

Finally… What benefit are Finpension against Viac ?

99% strategy in actions ? And fees ?
Finpension is based in Lucerne ? Best option for the future payement of taxes ?

Thanks @Lonair and @MrLeanLife for sharing your spreadsheets. I have gone through them and both seem to be a good replication of Vanguard VT in terms of country allocation.

I had a (maybe rookie) question: even if the country allocation is the same, or very approximate, how certain can we be that the assets are the same as VT’s?

I opened a Portfolio at the end of November with this allocation (I guess the shares were first bought on the 30th):

Its performance so far has been the following:

Comparing it with the Vanguard VT performance in the same period, the curves follow totally different trends (plot taken from YahooFinance):

We can see that the portfolio plot has highs and lows at points where the Vanguard VT hasn’t, or for example, taking the last 2-3 days, VT is rising while the portfolio has fallen. Also the “final” value (at Dec 16th) of VT is bigger than on the 30th of November, and not lower.

If the assets are the same, shouldn’t both plots be more similar or have a closer correlation?

Thanks and regards,


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I assume the US Dollar got weaker too?


Ah yes…it’s that:

The product of this curve and the VT one is more similar to what I got…


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Same story here. Below some more data since 02-Nov:

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Yep, you need to compare with a CHF fund like VWRL

By the way tradingview.com supports doing currency conversion on the graphs (just multiply by e.g. USDCHF).

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still struggling between finpension or viac; based on that there is a big difference.
Is it determinated by something or what? double performance almost it’s a lot, especially for a month period.

Difference in what exactly?
You can create/choose pretty much the same performing portfolio in both.
Maybe not 100%; but I suspect that you misinterpreted the VT in the above chart as VIAC - it is a Vanguard Total World ETF, not VIAC…

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