The Vita Collective Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023. It was founded in 2003 and has been one of Switzerland's largest pension funds for several years. It was able to continue this success story with additional growth in 2022: the number of affiliated companies increased by 5.2 percent to 24,916 and the number of insured persons by 4.3 percent to 148,657. With regard to investments, the 2022 business year was very challenging, as was the case for many pension funds. The Vita Collective Foundation closed the financial year with a net performance of -9.8%, which was in the mid range by market comparison. The cover ratio as at December 31, 2022 amounted to 100.5%. However, throughout the first half of 2023 it has significantly increased and stands at 104.2% as of mid-June. The net performance as of mid-June is 3.95%.
Investment portfolio Climate-neutral by 2050
For the Vita Collective Foundation, sustainably investing pension funds' assets is an integral part of a fair system of occupational retirement provision that is fit for the future. That is why it invests conscientiously and has committed itself to achieving a fully climate-neutral portfolio by 2050. In 2022, the Foundation added green bonds to its investment categories and has already invested CHF 390 million into this asset class. What's more, the Vita Collective Foundation has decided to exclude companies from its equity and alternative investments that derive more than 30% of their turnover or electricity production from coal.
More focus on sustainability in exercising voting rights
In spring 2023, the Foundation utilized its voting principles to strengthen its focus on sustainability. As an active shareholder, it is guided by ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) guidelines when exercising its voting rights – with a focus on combating climate change. Here, the Foundation places great value on the disclosure of companies' climate policies and practices. It promotes transparency across social and ecological issues, as well as those relating to labor law, and in the reporting of sustainable business practices.
Recently, the Vita Collective Foundation refused to accept the sustainability reports issued by a Swiss company. There were clear gaps in the reporting, which was missing science-based targets. By actively exercising its voting rights, the Vita Collective Foundation has the option of exerting greater influence in favor of sustainable development.
The Vita Collective Foundation places great importance on good corporate governance. It champions the highest integrity and transparency standards, not only it its investment practices, but also in its own corporate governance. The Foundation is convinced that structured risk management is vital. Consequently, its software-based risk management system goes above and beyond the regulatory requirements. For the Vita Collective Foundation, protecting the personal data of its insured is a key concern. That is why it began making necessary adjustments relating to the new Data Protection Act at an early stage in collaboration with its service suppliers.