As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for your employees’ pensions and must provide them with regular information about their occupational provisions. There are various channels for doing this, depending on how important the topic is.
Every CEO and, more so, every company owner knows how much time and knowledge is required to manage employees. You are often the desired point of contact for your employees when they need advice and information about a wide variety of questions related to the employment relationship. Of course, you cannot and do not need to answer all your employees’ questions yourself. It is easier if you allocate the topics to various communication channels.
Push mail or push texts
Standard employee questions regarding the financial situation of the pension fund, interest on retirement savings, the cover ratio, or the amount of the bonuses or provisions are proactively answered by pension funds in Switzerland. For example, collective foundations provide comprehensive annual reports about their financial situation and annual interest. You can obtain a short version of the annual report from your employee benefits institution at any time and provide it to your employees – or send it quickly and cheaply using push mail or push texts.
The pension fund’s annual financial statements can also be published in your employee magazine. You can also include an interview with your company’s pension fund manager, and by doing so pre-emptively answer most of the complex questions your employees might ask. If your company has its own intranet, you can publish information about the status of the pension fund together with your holiday greetings at the end of the year.
Online tools for individual questions
The Swiss pension system offers a high degree of flexibility. This is especially true with respect to the early withdrawal of retirement savings. However, this flexibility also increases the level of complexity – resulting in a number of individual questions that are often difficult to answer, such as whether an early withdrawal for the purchase of a home is worth it, or what an employee’s financial situation would be like if he or she decided to take early retirement. For these recurring questions – which cannot, however, always be answered in a general manner – some employee benefits institutions in Switzerland have developed simulation calculators and make these available to insured persons online. This allows employees, with a few mouse clicks, to determine what impact purchases or early withdrawals will have on the performance of their retirement savings.
Help with retirement planning
If several employees at your company are about to retire, want to take early retirement or continue working beyond the normal retirement age at a reduced level of employment, it may be worth carrying out comprehensive retirement planning with your employees. Large collective foundations offer their customers this sort of service and can send their advisors to your company to directly answer all the complex and individual questions your employees might have.
Provide highly sensitive information in person
The personal meeting is the most important and strongest communication channel. You should always provide important or highly sensitive information in person. For example, if a semi-autonomous pension fund experiences a shortfall and restructuring measures are imminent, a staff meeting must be held – ideally together with the company’s pension fund manager. However, if you have chosen a full insurance solution for your company, you will never experience this scenario as a shortfall is not possible with full insurance. With this solution, the life insurance company assumes all the capital risks and guarantees full benefits at all times.