Comparing pension funds

A friend asked today in another forum if anyone had recommendations of Pension Funds (Pensionskasse), perhaps one that invests sustainably (Vielleicht eine die nachhaltig investiert?). This is such a basic part of Swiss life, that I was quite flustered by the question. Surely there is open data on all the funds? …

The Federal Office of Statistics at least gives us an indicator of how about how many funds are out there (1562, as of 2018). The following chart is excerpted from https://opendata.swiss/de/dataset/pensionskassenstatistik-2018

The BFS also has a 2019 report about the financial situation, Bericht finanzielle Lage which references the same data. There is a very helpful inventory of the laws around social security in each canton available Inventar und Finanzstatistik der Sozialhilfe im weiteren Sinn. But I could not find any reference list. The most promising document is a study about the comparability of institutions, Vorsorgeeinrichtungen vergleichbar machen? from the Bundesamt für Sozialversicherungen BSV.

This is clearly a topic in which a lot of people feel out of their depth … myself included!

Besides the government, in a quick search I came across a directory maintained by a private company in Zürich (investmentoffice.com) which has detailed financial figures, and others offer to do it as a service. I checked the phone book (search.ch), but there’s no information here that can help make a decision. While the popular website Comparis has a number of pension funds in it’s list of mortgage providers, they do not seem to be doing this. There is a handful of funds without any further detail available publicly at Schweizer Pensionkassen Rating, which sounds promising at least in name.

Other leads include Wikipedia, which has a detailed article explaining the 3-tier system (more detail in German), and a website about the history of social insurance in Switzerland. Specialised communities like Vorsorgeforum could have leads.

Journalists have been doing some analyses, e.g.:

This is a political topic we have at least touched on in the past here:

And you can expect to at least meet people who would be interested in this discussion at Hack4SocialGood.

Please post any other tips or ideas here. Perhaps we should start a crowdsourced list, as we recently tried with water charities?