Case study: Julius Baer banks on international pension plan

Swiss private banking group Bank Julius Baer offers an international pension plan for 70 employees in locations such as Singapore, Egypt and Latin America. A further 60 staff are covered by a subplan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The scheme, which has been in place for four years, is administered in the Isle of Man by Zurich. It is divided into two sections – savings and a risk portfolio. Contributions are paid on an age-related scale, so all employees are treated the same, and staff can choose to invest in different currencies.

Christian Frener, head of international benefits/global mobility at Bank Julius Baer, says: “It is perceived very well that [staff] have a choice when it comes to currency and investment.”

When implementing the scheme, the organisation was careful to ensure that the arrangement met regulatory requirements in each location.

“Corporate governance is extremely important when having such an arrangement,” says Frener. “We have checked thoroughly with the local tax authorities that they will accept this arrangement.”

Death in service and disability benefits are managed out of Switzerland. “We can follow the Swiss approach,” explains Frener. “If a misfortune were to arise, we have a clear heritage guideline about what would happen according to Swiss law.”

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