Regulation in law
Investment foundations are foundations within the meaning of Art. 53g para.1 of the Federal Act on Occupational Old Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Pension Provision (BVG/LPP; SR 831.40) and Art. 80 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB/CC; SR 201). These institutions are established specifically to serve occupational pension plans, and qualify as legal entities that are entered in the commercial register of their place of domicile.
The legal provisions that govern investment foundations are set out in Art. 53g – Art. 53k BVG/LPP. In accordance with Art. 53k BVG/LPP, the Federal Council issues implementing provisions in respect of:
a. eligible investors;
b. the establishment and utilisation of endowment capital;
c. foundation, organisation and dissolution;
d. investing, bookkeeping, accounting and auditing;
e. the rights of the investors.
To this end, the Federal Council issued the Ordinance on Investment Foundations (ASV/OFP; SR 831.403.2), which lays down the legal requirements in concrete form.
Investment foundations operate under the supervision of the Occupational Pension Supervisory Commission OPSC (Art. 64a para. 2 BVG/LPP).
Those eligible to invest in an investment foundation are:
a. pension funds and other tax-exempt institutions domiciled in Switzerland whose purpose is to provide occupational benefits; and
b. persons who manage collective investment schemes of the institutions referred to under section a. above, are supervised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA and exclusively invest funds for these institutions with the foundation.
Foreign investors may not invest in investment foundations either directly or indirectly.
Asset / investment groups
An investment foundation’s total assets comprise its endowment capital and the assets available for investment (Art. 53i para. 1 BVG/LPP).
The investment groups are managed as separate accounting entities and are economically independent of each other (Art. 53i para. 2 BVG/LPP). In the event of the investment foundation’s bankruptcy, the property and rights belonging to an investment group are segregated in favour of that group’s investors (Art. 53i para. 4 BVG/LPP).
Each investment group is liable exclusively for its own obligations (Art. 53j para. 2 BVG/LPP). Investors’ liability in respect of other obligations is excluded (Art. 53j para. 3 BVG/LPP).
By law, the investment foundation acts in its own name but for the account of the respective investor group.
Only businesses licensed as a government supervised audit company by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority may act as auditors (Art. 9 ASV/OFP).
Some investment foundations are grouped together in the sector association “Konferenz der Geschäftsführer von Anlagestiftungen (KGAST)” (www.kgast.ch)
A list of investment foundations currently supervised by the OPSC can be found below:
You will find information about Business and Enterprise Register (BER) and Unique Enterprise Identification Number (UID) in the following link: