3rd pillar investment solution from VIAC [2022]

I have been using VIAC for some years already, and checked recently transaction receipts. I have noticed that in my Global 100 strategy every fund except SMI and SPI are traded in non-CHF. That means, that their FX markup of 0.5% is applied (assuming that they are still growing and have more buys then sells, there is probably not a big netting effect into that direction).

I also have checked my Finpension account, which uses quite the same CSIF funds in my Global 100 strategy, and there everything is traded in CHF.

Can you see the same in your account? Is VIAC ripping us off with the FX markup, or am I missing something here?

They are not ripping you. The fees are transparent and known in advance, as well as the currency of the funds you invest in. Up to you to accept it or not (and closed your accounts). Alternatively, you can opt for an individual strategy with as many CHF as possible.

Approx. 60% of Global100 is in a currency other than CHF.

6’883 * 60% *0.5 = CHF 21/year (without considering reallocation within the year and netting done by Viac).

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So far, I cannot see any reason why the should trade in non-CHF if the same CSIF fund can also be traded in CHF. All my 3a deposits are in CHF of course. To me, this looks either very inefficient, or like the would do additional FX to earn more markup.

But probably I’m missing something, that is why I’m asking here.

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Viac has chosen to use funds traded in foreign currency.
This move doesn’t make sense for the client as it increases the fees.
On this point, finpension is better

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I did not knew that. Seems strange as they have optimized every other aspects of their solution. Maybe it’s the only way for them to have enough fees…

They were saying something about FX fees imposed by their deposit bank in their FAQ, I think. Why can’t they buy CHF-denominated shares, I don’t know. I also felt there is something wrong and was happy to quit.

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Yes, he thinks they didn’t have the choice as it was imposed by the bank.

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I will have a look at their FAQ and ask them directly if it is not clear enough. I want to better understand it as I am actively recommending VIAC to my friends and family. Maybe it really is finpension which is the best for 3a and vested benefits accounts.

Yes, usually there is a fee. Our goal though is to keep any foreign currency exchange as little as possible through VIAC’s intelligent calculation system. Thus, in the best case, the fee is at 0% when the purchases and sales of foreign currencies during rebalancing cancel each other out across all customers.

Should the purchase and sale volumes not be identical, the foreign currency fee is only charged on the difference that is actually traded – more information on the settlement system can be found here: Academy. The resulting costs are then distributed proportionately among all customer orders.

Experience shows that, depending on the strategy, one-off costs of a maximum of 0.20% (e.g. Global 100) could occur. Here an example: 60% foreign currency share x 0.3%, whereby the 0.3% corresponds to the effective optimized foreign currency fees for the months June, July and August 2020. Without internal settlement or optimization which VIAC carries out in the interest of its customers, the premium charged by the Bank would be 0.75%. Therefore we pass on 100% of all cost advantages directly to our customers.

Historically and over the long term, the annual average cost of all strategies is less than 0.05%. With other providers, these fees are usually hidden and not disclosed to the customer. They are for instance not included in the TER of a fund. Hence the name “Total Expense Ratio” is misleading as foreign currency hedges, which cause recurring / running costs are also not included in the TER. However, especially in long-term pension plans, such recurring costs are much more important than a one-off fee for the foreign currency exchange.

I have already seen the FAQ, but it does not convince me at all.

Historically and over the long term, the annual average cost of all strategies is less than 0.05%.

The average costs of all strategies are not really interesting for me. They also have many strategies with a lot of uninvested CHF cash in it. I also wonder how big the netting effect in foreign currencies really is, assuming they are still growing and get new funds in CHF.

Hence the name “Total Expense Ratio” is misleading as foreign currency hedges, which cause recurring / running costs are also not included in the TER.

I am not talking about hedged funds. I am talking about the very same index funds (which are used by finpension), just traded in CHF instead of foreign currencies.

Dear mustachians,

I have the following questions related to VIAC:

  1. Why the value (return value in CHF) compared to the percent % in VIAC app doesn’t look to be aligned? For example the monetary return value in CHF is -Xxxx (-CHF) which would correspond to a percent of -5% approximately but the in percent value is very different than this

  2. What is the added value exactly of opening more portfolios / splitting portfolios in VIAC? At which threshold should you consider opening more 3a accounts? if I open more portfolios within VIAC itself does it serve this purpose?

  3. How “safe” do we generally feel about VIAC considering also the situation with CS and all the other macroeconomic current trends around us? Is there any protection threshold amount for our 3a pillar funds in VIAC?

Thanks a lot in advance

You were adding money on the way.

That gives a possibility of stepwise withdrawal of 3a money.

Stop contributing to an account when it reaches 50k. Long-term distribute 3a money evenly.

Yes.

Funds invested in funds are completely protected, cash up to 100k. There is a topic about CS.

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I.e. the percentage VIAC displays is the time-weighted return, which is an indication of the performance of your investment strategy, independent of when you paid into your account.

Cash up to 100k is privileged in case of bankruptcy of the WIR bank, however, there is no (esisuisse) deposit insurance for cash in 3a.

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Thanks a ton for the replies!!

Still I am struggling to understand what I can see from the time weighted rate of return…

Just an example let’s say that in my VIAC app it says -1200 -CHF (from 10000-CHF invested) but 0,35% return…

So in a nutshell I am really losing 1200 chf (I have manually calculated my deposits vs my actual monetary value and it’s really let’s say -1200 chf since started) so it’s actual -12% my return, not really sure still what this percent corresponds to?

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How good the performance of the actual fund was. To compare it with other funds or other institutions. You need TWR for that without inflow/outflow affecting the numbers.

Just received this info from VIAC, that from 1.1 the max. ETF exposure allowed is 99% (instead of currently 97%).
For the standard strategies XXX 100 the ETF percentage will be increased automatically, for those with custom strategies it requires a manual change.
I’ll be upping my allocation to 99%.

"Per 01.01.2023 erhöhen wir die maximal mögliche Investitionsquote von bisher 97% auf neu 99%. Von dieser Erhöhung profitieren alle Kunden mit den Standardstrategien “Global 100”, “Schweiz 100” sowie “Nachhaltig 100”. Dort erfolgt die Erhöhung der Aktienquote automatisch mit dem ersten Trading im neuen Jahr.

Zudem können Kunden mit einer Eigenen Strategie ab dem 21.12.2022 ebenfalls ihre Investitionsquote auf bis zu 99% erhöhen. Die erstmögliche Umsetzung erfolgt auch hier mit dem ersten Trading im 2023."

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Very nice! ~0.13%/year higher expexted return.

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For your information!

In a recent judgement from the Federal Court of Switzerland intended for publication (2C_259/2022 of December 7, 2022), the Federal Court has just confirmed that a pillar 3a payment is deductible from the income of a given year only if it is credited to the taxpayer’s pension account during that same year.

It thus rejected the appeal of a taxpayer who claimed, for the year 2017, the deduction of a payment executed by his bank on December 29, 2017 (a Friday) and credited to the pension fund account on January 3, 2018.

According to the Court, it is decisive that the contribution is credited to the taxpayer’s pension account (crediting the pension fund account is not sufficient) during the calendar year in question, because only then is a contribution “exclusively and irrevocably” allocated to occupational pension plans within the meaning of art. 82 para. 1 BVG.

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Interesting to know that there are people who will pony up legal fees all the way up to the Federal Court in order to save what amounts to a few thousands CHF max on tax. xD

Also good to know the reason why it is the date at which the amount is credited on the taxpayer’s pension account that matters. Thanks for the info.

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Would be interesting to know which 3a provider was used. With VIAC I always had the funds credited the same day as the bank transfer.