Company pension fund council

My company has a pension fund council (2 representative from the employer, 2 from the employees) that apparently has (some?) says about the company pension fund plan.

The 2 employees seats are up for reelection and I’ve been thinking about applying given the current plan has some good (whole salary including expected bonus covered) and some bad (1.25% return last year). It’s a 4 year term, but it shouldn’t be too much work as I understand it.

Has anyone been on such a council? What can I expect, do I have any hope of influencing things?



Can you influence things? Usually not, but it depends on what exactly you are talking about.

Administration committee (Kassenvorstand) or any similar name
Represents the company and its employees in a collective foundation (Sammelstiftung). Does not have any practical power or influence, or for that matter much to do at all. Only in the special case of 1e solutions, this committee selects the available investment strategies from all potential ones, from which then each employee selects their desired one. As you are talking about only two representatives each, I strongly suspect this is what you are talking about.

Board of trustees or foundation board (Stiftungsrat)
The actual board taking all the major decisions. In collective foundations (Sammelstiftung) they preselect members with the appropriate background knowledge, who are then elected by the administration committees. If your employer has an own pension fund, being an employee representative might not come with any requirements at all, and yes, in that case you might be able to influence some decisions (especially if there would be just four members), including the paid interests (keeping in mind that you need to take decisions in the best interest of the pension fund, not your own personal pension savings), unless the employer doesn’t agree (retains the last word in case of stalemate decisions as the president/chairmen is always an employer representative).

But, with power comes responsibilities. Members of the foundation board may be held personally liable with their full net worth if you didn’t do your job properly. You are required to regularly educate yourself in this matter, and failure to do so can in itself trigger such a liability if the fund goes belly up (meaning you may join without any requirements, but you can’t just do nothing and claim you didn’t know better if your pension fund is in trouble three years later). Then again, practical workload would be two to four meeting per year, and maybe one day of external training. Practical risk of liability is near-zero, as pension funds are very tightly regulated and supervised by regulatory bodies.

The four year term is irrelevant, you may step down at any point in time, especially if you change employer (except that it may even increase your risk of liability if you step down because the fund got in trouble and you abandon it untimely).

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Thank you for the detailed answer, I do believe it is the first option.

Here’s what I have received. Sorry, I should have lead on with that, but I was away from my work laptop.

We are excited to announce the upcoming election for the Employee Pension Committee (Election de la Commission de Prévoyance du Personnel).

What will be my roles and responsibilities?

The primary role of the Employee Pension Committee is to oversee and manage the pension
funds on behalf of all employees. Responsibilities include:
• Deciding on the financing of the pension fund.
• Issuing & amending the pension plan.
• Deciding on the use of the pension fund’s surplus funds.
• Deciding on the partial or total liquidation of the pension fund and establishes the of
the fund.

The members elected will be trained in their roles & responsibilities and in the Swiss pension

My employer does not have its own pension fund, and I don’t know whether there’s a 1e plan, but I certainly don’t have it.
It sounds like it applies to the regular 2nd pillar. If it’s just 1e for executives, not worth it.

I’ll try to find who were on the committee before and check with them.

Damn. Thought I covered most of it and you come with the middle ground of it all :smiley:

What I described concerns the majority of collective foundations, especially those of big institutions/insurances. In this case you choose one of the available plans, and have little to no say otherwise. Independent collective foundations often offer more tailor-made plans, in which you consequently get more say, and major decisions are delegated from the foundation board to subordinated committees (in your case a Personalvorsorgekommission, though there is no clear naming convention). Thanks to that delegation you have a formally quite a bit of influence (with the Stiftungsrat either providing clear guardrails or gets to step-in if necessary), but you also then typically share responsibilities (and formally the personal liability).

I’d say go for it. Anyone with even a little interest in this is typically appreciated, as its not easy to find people willing to dive even a little bit into such mundane topics.


Thanks, I’ve submitted my candidature, let’s see how it goes and if I get elected.