Performance Analyses Of Federal And Cantonal Pension Funds
Following the need to restrict the number of pension funds to a not too large, but coherent sample, this section contains analyses of all ‘public’Swiss pension funds, meaning those of the Swiss Federation (‘Publica’) and all cantons.
To match the availability of the first available pension fund aggregate indices, the Credit Suisse Pension Fund Index (CSPK/CSPF), and reflecting a shortage of publicly available performance data for distinct pension funds, a start date of 31.12.1999 has been chosen for the analyses, giving a 19 year history to the end of 2018. Occupational pension funds became mandatory at the end of 1984, some 35 years ago. It is remarkable, that so little ‘inception’ data is in the public domain, considering the importance of such a vast lump of legally-forced savings, currently hovering near the 1 Trillion CHF mark.
Barely more than half of the funds in the sample have published data back to the end of 1999 and many have declined to provide such statistics when asked to do so. This is the sole reason for ‘gaps’ in some of the rankings shown.
Analytics for individual pensions funds are left uncommented, other than a brief explanation of the metrics used.
A format for more elaborate sets of performance analysis metrics, beyond the ones on display now, is being revised and will be made available here during the course of October.
Most Recent Year's Performance
Performance Since 31.12.1999
Extent Of Benchmarks Cloning
Remarkably, pensions funds are surprisingly ambivalent about information regarding the extent of index cloning and or the exact index chosen. Obviously, cloning is widespread as reflected in generally high to very high readings of congruency (R-squared > 95%). The display of benchmark dependence shows the measure of congruence to that benchmark which has produced the highest R-squared value in the analysis. While the congruency is statistically undeniable, congruency will not always coincide with the benchmark chosen by a pension fund.
In spite of all the risks pension funds clearly seem to take, the performance pattern relative to financial markets is, generally speaking, similar to that of ‘cash’: underperforming bull markets, outperforming bear markets. Across the board, returns generated are far lower than they could be, all due to the overwhelmingly ‘passive’ posture and the neglect of risk that results from passive investment philosophies.