What Is at Issue?

The BVK pension fund, in which approximately 4,500 UZH employees are insured, plans to introduce substantial alterations of contract, effective as of 1 January 2017. For more information, see the notice from BVK to all persons insured in the fund and the information provided by VIP, the University’s association representing the administrative and technical staff. The alterations include lowering the technical interest rate (minimal interest on the actuarial reserve of current pensions) from 3.2 to 2 percent and the conversion rate (the percentage at which an individual's savings upon retirement is converted into annual pension fund benefits) from 6.2 to 4.82 percent, based on a retirement of age 65. Moreover, higher pension fund deductions will be due beginning 1 January 2017. This means that for the age group 48 to 62, employee and employer contributions are set to increase by two percent and three percent , respectively. For the age group 63 to 65, the contributions will increase by 4.4 percent (employee) and 6.8 percent (employer), respectively.

Executive Board of the University Appoints Personnel Committee

Due to the introduction of these changes, the contract between UZH and BVK can be terminated, effective as of 31 December 2016, and annually in the years thereafter. On 26 November 2015, the Executive Board of the University thus decided to establish a personnel committee with proportional representation from the professorial staff and the bodies represented in the Extended Executive Board of the University (the so-called “Stände”). The committee is charged with conducting an open and unbiased review of BVK’s new contractual terms and submitting to the Executive Board a report with recommendations on whether to remain with BVK or to terminate the contract as of 31 December 2016; the report should also contain information on suitable alternative pension funds for the current number of insured persons (employees and pensioners) at UZH.