The transparency requirements on life insurance undertakings offering occupational pension plans, which entered into force on 1 April 2004, primarily are implemented by means of tied assets separated from the rest of business and by separate accounting (article 37 ISA and 139 SO). On the basis of the legal framework, FOPI has drafted an accounting schema and requirements on keeping the separate accounting statement, the OPP Account, to strictly supervise compliance with the requirements and directives.
The separate annual accounting statement must include separate savings, risk, and cost processes (articles 143 to 145 SO). These three processes take the amount of all significant earning and expense items into account. Deducting expenses from earnings for each process generates the results of the OPP Account. After building the necessary provisions and deducting the insurer’s share, the result is allocated to the surplus fund for the benefit of the insured OPP institutions and their insured parties.
» See also link (on the right) “OPP Account”.
In addition, the law requires that at least 90% of the sum of the earnings from the three components savings, risk, and cost (total earnings) calculated in the accounting statement must be used for the benefit of the insured parties, which is designated as “minimum quote” (art. 37.4 ISA and article 147 SO). Excluded are the insurance contracts with special contractual rules agreed by the policyholder, in this case the insured OPP institution, and the life insurer (article 146 SO).
First Results of the OPP Account
For the first time in 2006, all private Swiss life insurers offering occupational pension plans submitted a separate and comprehensive accounting statement, the OPP Account, to FOPI in accordance with the Supervision Ordinance.
For 2006, second reporting year, the average distribution quota increased to 91.6 % of the total earnings (92.7% for 2005, first reporting year).
» See link (on the right) "FOPI-Infos on OPP" for the FOPI communications concerning the practical implementation of the transparency requirements with respect to Occupational pension plans (legal quote, etc.) since 2006.
Mandatory Information to OPP Institutions
Furthermore, life insurers must comply with specific information requirements with respect to the insured OPP institutions. These information requirements include in particular the publication of a "Publication schema" (article 140 SO) and a comprehensible annual calculation of profit participation (article 68.4a of the Federal Law on Occupational Old Age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Pensions [Occupational Pension Act]). With respect to the publication, FOPI has defined the minimum information to be provided, a draft publication based on the accounting schema drawn from the OPP Account. The information concerning surplus dividends that the companies must distribute to the OPP institutions is governed by article 68 of the Occupational Pension Act.
» See also link (on the right) “OPP Institutions”.