SWITZERLAND - Bruno Gehrig, chairman of insurance group Swiss Life has praised the government's recent decision to cut the minimum pension fund return rate to 2.25%, according to an interview with Swiss Sunday paper, SonntagsZeitung.
But Gehrig warned that the insurance group, which previously announced 1,500 job cuts, would have to improve earnings since the capital base is too thin.
In the interview, Gehrig admitted that the group had to improve its equity capital which comprises about Sfr12bn in shares and hedge funds, compared to an equity capital of Sfr4.6bn.
Commenting on the overall economic situation, he was quoted as saying that the US economy should grow in the second half of 2003 by 4%, while there are also weak signs of a revival in Germany. For Switzerland, he predicted economic growth of just 1% for 2004.
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
This week's top stories include the government spending £800,000 on a Gogglebox advert and MPs writing to The Pensions Regulator about its engagement with the Railways Pension Scheme.