OpsionProtect
Article published in Insurance Inside n°20 - december 2020

Support and assistance in operating your occupational benefits plan

conduite-accompagnee-prevoyance-professionnelle
 
 
Few SMEs set up their own occupational benefits foundation. The reasons for this are a lack of in-depth knowledge of the 2nd pillar and the risks involved in autonomous management. Convinced of the advantages of an own pension fund, your Swiss Risk & Care broker offers the ideal solution combining independence and security. Worth looking into - here are some of the main points:
 
As an employer, you are subject to the Federal Law on Occupational Retirement, Survivors’ and Disability Benefit Plans (LPP) and must therefore be affiliated to a pension fund (LLP Art. 11.1). In contrast to the OASI (AVS), for which contributions and funding are determined by statute, the LPP leaves you wide discretion as long as the minimum benefits for insured employees are provided. Optional supplementary benefits, called “super-mandatory”, may be paid to all employees or to a defined group. This decision-making stage concerns benefits and will be reached only at the end of the process of selecting your occupational benefit solution.
 
The first choice you have to make as an employer is to determine the type of pension institution you wish to join. A collective foundation, common fund of an industry association or own foundation? Where the sector is not an issue that needs to be taken into consideration, the size of the workforce is the criterion to be used. Large companies thus tend to set up their own pension funds, while VSEs opt for a collective foundation that enables them to pool risks and outsource all technical decisions.
 
With the new solutions, however, opting for autonomy, i.e. opting for an own pension fund, is not a prerogative of companies with hundreds of employees. “Within a defined framework, around 20 is enough, says Yvan Roux, Director of the Corporate Business Unit of Swiss Risk & Care. The lack of knowledge and technical skills, particularly in the area of investment, is what hinders SMEs. This is clearly no longer the case with our new offer: OpsionProtect.

The best of two models

Swiss Risk & Care has negotiated an exclusive agreement with the Opsion Foundation combining autonomy and security: the creation of your pension fund in the Opsion world and its management applying the same strategies as a Common Fund for a maximum of three years.
 
Opsion usually offers two pension fund models depending on the level of autonomy sought: the Common Fund for complete outsourcing of management or the Pension Fund, which offers a tailor-made framework on which to build your own occupational benefit solution.
 
OpsionProtect was developed by Swiss Risk & Care. The purpose is to offer a product that combines the best of both these systems: the advantages of autonomy and the benefits of outsourcing decisions to professionals. We now allow a company to create a pension fund for its staff, guaranteeing its secure management, but with the assurance of being able to transfer its staff back to the Opsion Common Fund should the aforementioned model not meet its expectations.”

The advantages of OpsionProtect

Your company will benefit from increased security for three years while at the same time training the Pensions Commission on how to manage the pension fund. Legal liability as well as strategic decisions are externalised to professionals who regularly explain the choices made in order to contribute to training the members of the Pension Commission.
 
The autonomy model allows you to use occupational benefits as a differentiating tool for employee retention and, if necessary, to distance yourself from political
debates aimed at lowering pensions.

 

As soon as you feel that you have sufficient understanding of the matter, or if you wish to change certain parameters (e.g. the conversion rate, interest on savings or choice of investments), you can take back control of your pension fund.

Making the right choice for your occupational pension plan

Thanks to OpsionProtect, the founding company will make an informed decision by the end of the third year at the latest as to whether or not to continue on the path to autonomy, Yvan Roux explained. If it is satisfied with the autonomy model, the company will take control of strategic decisions and will benefit from advantageous management costs and risk premiums thanks to the economies of scale offered by Opsion. Regulation, governance, relationships with external service providers and administrative management will remain outsourced. If, for various reasons, independent management is not considered suitable, it may transfer its occupational benefits plan to the Opsion Common Fund and enjoy the advantages of risk pooling and total outsourcing of decision-making.
 
So why not try it?
Your contact
Yvan Roux
Corporate Clients Director
Flexibility, the best asset for your employees’occupational benefit plan
 
The Swiss Risk & Care group has chosen to develop the OpsionProtect solution in partnership with Opsion, convinced that this open architecture platform will offer the best environment. Explanations by Sébastien Brocard.
 

What are the advantages that OpsionProtect offers to companies?

 
The OpsionProtect solution gives a medium-sized company the opportunity to create a turnkey pension fund. In the event of sub-par coverage, the company will be entitled to demand the transfer of its fund to the Opsion Common Fund, to benefit from an easier reorganisation thanks to the favourable demographic structure of the Common Fund and positive cash flows due to its growth. If the pension fund performs well, it can create a reserve for the fluctuation of values of assets, which, like provisions, will “belong” to its insured, notably in the event of departure. This is not the case today for a company leaving a collective foundation.
 

If the company decides to keep its pension fund at the end of OpsionProtect, will it have carry out its management alone?

 
After 3 years of support and regular meetings to explain the decisions taken, the Pension Commission, made up of employee and employer representatives, may, for example, take back control of the elements that influence the level of benefits but continue to delegate the management of wealth. Or, vice versa. Whichever decision is taken, our team of actuaries and investment consultants will always be available to assist. The members of the Pension Commission must be able to make informed decisions and with confidence in order to protect the interests of the insured.
 

Why is he choice of certain service providers exclusively with the remit of Opsion?

 
For legal and good governance reasons, certain tasks must be entrusted to service providers selected by the Foundation Board. These are the auditors, the LPP expert and the technical and administrative manager. They make it possible to guarantee companies and the insured, the legal and financial security of data, each in their respective fields. This guarantee is one of the many advantages of this platform. Relieved of the governance matters, representatives can thus focus on strategic decisions and benefit from the flexibility of the Foundation without taking on the responsibility of a foundation board member. Autonomy can only be of benefit under such conditions!
 
sebastien-brocard-swissriskandcare
Financial Analyst and Actuary, Sébastien Brocard is Head Investment Consulting at Swiss Risk & Care
About Opsion
 
The Collective Opsion Foundation offers companies, groups of companies or associations an open platform for managing the occupational benefit plan of their employees or members.
 
Founded in 2017 but with a team with more than 30 years of experience, Opsion offers two separate solutions capable of providing a response tailored to the needs of companies in terms of delegation or risk coverage: joining the Common Fund or setting up a Pension Fund.
 
Opsion’s mission is to enable the efficient outsourcing of all or part of the occupational pension plan to a reliable, competent, flexible partner, capable of setting up total or partial risk coverage in order to guarantee the payment of benefits in the long term.
 
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