Funding levels recovering steadily at Swiss pension funds

first_imgPositive market developments and rising discount rates helped Swiss Pensionskassen improve their funding levels by approximately 300 basis points, consultancies estimated.PKSBB, the CHF15bn (€12bn) pension fund of Swiss federal railways SBB, fared particularly well, reporting a funding level just above the 100%-mark for the first time in more than a decade.Its 101.8% funding level marked an increase of 270bps year on year and means that, for 2014, its participants will not have to pay any additional contributions as part of a recovery plan.Meanwhile, average funding levels at Swiss pension funds improved to 102.9% for pension funds in general, according to Towers Watson, or even to as high as 110.8% for private pension funds, according to Swisscanto. The Towers Watson Pension Index calculated that the funding level increased by 400bps quarter on quarter from 99.1% as reported per end-September 2013, while Swisscanto worked out an improvement of 320bps for private pension funds and 270bps for public pension funds to 102.7% year on year.A slight increase in the discount rate also helped lower liabilities and improve funding levels in turn.Within the Towers Watson sample, the discount rate improved by 16bps, while liabilities shrank by 2%.Swisscanto reported a 6.1% average rate of return for its sample, similar to the one published by Towers Watson at 6.2%.UBS calculated a similar average return at 5.89%, but the Credit Suisse index showed a slightly lower average return at 5.75%.The PKSBB is at the lower end of the spectrum, with a return of 5.4% for 2013.In a statement, the pension fund stressed that, despite the recent improvement of its funding levels, its financial buffers were still wanting.The PKSBB is one of the funds currently looking to introduce variable pensions for future pensioners to ensure sustainable, long-term financing.last_img read more

Nakilat forms FSRU pact with Excelerate Energy

first_imgQatar’s Nakilat, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company, signed an agreement with US-based Excelerate Energy, to establish a joint-venture company and acquire interest in FSRU Exquisite. Nakilat said in its statement on Tuesday it plans to acquire a 55 percent stake in a floating storage and regasification unit, the first such vessel to join the company’s fleet.Commenting on the agreement, Qatar’s minister of energy and industry and Nakilat chairman, Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, said it will enable the company to widen its international outreach.The FSRU unit has a capacity of 150,900 cubic meters and a peak regasification rate of 745 million cubic feet per day.The vessel is located at Port Qasim in Pakistan and has received 10.4 million tons of LNG since it started operations in 2015, out of which 7.8 million tons were Qatari LNG.Excelerate Energy’s managing director Steven Kobos added, “in 2017, the FSRU Exquisite delivered more regasified LNG ashore than any FSRU in history.”last_img read more