The Council of States sends the reform of the 2nd pillar back to committee

The reform of the 2nd pillar divides minds in the Council of States. So much so that the Chamber decided on Wednesday to refer the entire project to committee for additional analysis. In the occupational pension reform, the conversion rate will be lowered from 6.8% to 6%. This point is not really disputed. The capital built up by an annuitant during his professional activity will thus result in a smaller annuity. A capital of 100,000 francs will entitle you to an annuity of 6,000 francs instead of 6,800 francs.

To compensate for this loss, different models clash. The Federal Council, based on a dialogue between some of the social partners, proposed a concept where all insured persons would have received a supplement, without specifying a time limit. It would then set the amount of the supplement for new pensioners each year. The National, pushed by its right which wants to avoid any “watering can effect”, does not want it. He opted last December for a model that covers between 35% and 40% of pensioners only for the first fifteen years after the entry into force of the reform. The left has cried foul and has already cast the shadow of the referendum.

The Chamber of Cantons was to decide on Wednesday. Convinced that the reform of the 2nd pillar must provide pension supplements high enough to be accepted by the people in the event of a vote, the competent committee of the States wanted to be more generous than the People’s Chamber.

Read also: From the age of 50, should contributions be reduced to reduce discrimination?

Too expensive reform

Except that the debates clearly showed that this proposal would not find a majority in the plenum in the end. Most right-wing speakers criticized it for being too expensive. “We did not have all the figures in detail at the time of the discussions in committee”, noted Johanna Gapany (PLR / FR). Senator Josef Dittli (PLR/UR) has tried to take a step towards the National Council, essentially taking up his model for calculating pension supplements.

“We are talking about billions of francs of differences between these models. The majority of us discovered this compromise proposal this morning on our table and do not know its consequences”, said Primin Bischof (Centre/SO). “No reform has found a popular majority so far in this case. This is to say our responsibility to find the best possible model”, added Isabelle Chassot (Centre / FR). And to propose to send the new proposal back to committee.

An approach also defended by Federal Councilor Alain Berset. “Listening to you, I do not have the impression that the debates are ripe within this House. The Dittli proposal will cause threshold effects, perhaps even negative incentives. We have to take it all back.” These arguments were heard by a vote of 28 to 15.

Read also: Francis Bouvier: “The risks concern the middle class”

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