Tag Archives: Pension Fund regulations

Meeting of the SUISA Board – April 2017

During its spring meeting, the SUISA Board dealt with the financial results of the previous year. It approved SUISA’s annual accounts for 2016 as well as those of the Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers. Items on the agenda included the ratification of the 2016 annual report as well as the preparation of individual business items for the General Assembly on 23 June 2017 in Zurich. SUISA’s international involvement emerged during the discussion on the pricing of IPI subscriptions. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

Meeting of the SUISA Board - April 2017

An important agenda item of the Board’s spring meeting: Preparations for the General Assembly where SUISA members can co-determine the future of their Cooperative Society. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA’s annual statements for 2016 reflect a pleasant result for music authors and publishers: Income from Swiss sources reached new record levels (CHF 136.1m). Total turnover therefore was the highest in the Cooperative Society’s history (CHF 154.3m). The amount which is due for distribution to the rightsholders rose to CHF 128.9m (previous year: CHF 125m).

Annual accounts 2016 of the Pension Fund

The Board members jointly make up the Pension Board of the Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers (UVF). In that capacity, they examined and approved the returns of the UVF Fund. The fund assets have increased. Before it is possible to hold a discussion on how to adjust the insurance benefits, it was decided to wait for the impact of the revised Pension Fund Regulations on the annual accounts 2017 (please also refer to the article “New Pension Fund Regulations in force from 01 January 2017” on the SUISAblog).

SUISA General Assembly 2017 on 23 June in Zurich

This year’s ordinary General Assembly of SUISA shall take place on Friday, 23 June 2017 in the Kaufleuten Festsaal in Zurich. Doors will open at 9.45 am. The meeting will begin at 11.00 am.

During the first part of the GA, mandatory statutory business items will be dealt with. In the second part of the assembly, the following current topics shall be discussed:

SRG & “Service Public”

The term “Service Public” comprises the mission of SRG (Swiss Broadcasting Corporation)  and private broadcasters financed by fees collected by Billag for radio and TV reception. It is perceived as a comprehensive service for society, covering the relevant requirements relating to education, culture and entertainment of the population. The “No-Billag initiative” challenges the “Service Public”. It does not – as the name might suggest – intend to abolish Billag. Its aim is much more to stop the public service financing of broadcasts. SRG and Swiss private broadcasters would be affected since they receive monies from the fees collected by Billag for radio and TV reception. The Council of States has rejected the initiative in its spring session. It is expected that the topic will be tabled for discussion before the National Council in autumn.

Another approach demands that SRG shall renounce on all radio channels which are not part of the “Service Public” mission. The following so-called special category channels would be affected: Radio Swiss Pop/Classic/Jazz, Radio SRF Virus, Radio SRF Musikwelle, and Radio RTS Option Musique would fall silent. Swiss music is often played in the programmes of these special category channels. If these channels were to be abolished, a lot of airtime for music by SUISA members would be lost.

Géraldine Savary, Ständerätin (federal councillor) and SUISA Board member, is going to comment on the political debates in relation to the “Service Public”.

SUISA prepares for the future

SUISA has founded the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services together with US collective management organisation SESAC ((2)). The JV will take on the invoicing and administration of the online licensing activities of SESAC and SUISA and offer its services also to publishers and collective management organisations. One major publisher, Warner/Chappell, has already signed up to the service range offered by Mint Digital Services. Andreas Wegelin is going to report on this important step for the future and the consequences for SUISA and its members.

IPI system: What may it cost?

SUISA has been supplying CISAC societies with the electronic world repository for authors/publishers since 1969. The technical infrastructure of the Interested Parties Information (IPI) system belongs to SUISA. SUISA issues an invoice to collective management organisations which are using the system for the service provided to them by SUISA each year.

The IPI system forms a part of CISAC’s IT tools. The CISAC administrative council has audited the costs of the IT tools. Of all these systems, the IPI has been the most expensive in 2014. Subscription fees for the IPI system had already been lowered at a previous stage. Nevertheless, the management board of the international umbrella organisation demands that the subscription fees are adjusted downwards. Otherwise, it is said, a competitive system will be launched.

The Board members have deliberated on the room for manoeuvring between fair, cost-covering subscription fees and the intention of SUISA to continue operating IPI at a continued high quality standard. The value of the system depends on all collective management organisations entering their data into this one system so that it shall be and remain the one reliable global identification system for authors and rightsholders.

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During its spring meeting, the SUISA Board dealt with the financial results of the previous year. It approved SUISA’s annual accounts for 2016 as well as those of the Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers. Items on the agenda included the ratification of the 2016 annual report as well as the preparation of individual business items for the General Assembly on 23 June 2017 in Zurich. SUISA’s international involvement emerged during the discussion on the pricing of IPI subscriptions. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

Meeting of the SUISA Board - April 2017

An important agenda item of the Board’s spring meeting: Preparations for the General Assembly where SUISA members can co-determine the future of their Cooperative Society. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA’s annual statements for 2016 reflect a pleasant result for music authors and publishers: Income from Swiss sources reached new...read more

New Pension Fund Regulations in force from 01 January 2017

During SUISA’s ordinary General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne, the review of the Pension Fund Regulations was ratified by SUISA members. The changes came into force per 01 January 2017. What do the new regulations mean for our members? Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold

New Pension Fund Regulations in force from 01 January 2017

The current regulations for the SUISA Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers is available in Italian, French and German on SUISA’s website. (Image: Manu Leuenberger)

There were various reasons for SUISA tabling a review of the Pension Fund Regulations: The old regulations set off discussions time and again on whether they sufficiently reflected practice, and that the wording was not specific enough. These issues could be remedied with the review. On top of the above issues, the regulations had to be adapted to the current legislation (Federal Law on Occupational Retirement, Survivors’ and Disability Pension Plans/foundation law). Following these amendments, we now have a set of current and fair Pension Fund Regulations.

This is what the system now looks like for our members:

Authors

The Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers (UVF) provides for pension support for our members and affiliates. Once they have reached their pension age, a payment to authors and their respective survivors is guaranteed subject to specific conditions and up to a specific amount at previous levels. The UVF pays such guaranteed income as a pension benefit in such cases if less or no remuneration at all is paid in the course of ongoing distributions. In contrast to a support for the second pillar, the UVF fund only finances the part which authors do no longer receive from the ongoing SUISA distributions.

The UVF fund guarantees authors an income from SUISA when they reach pension age. This is calculated based on the annual average of their previous earnings from the SUISA distributions (the so-called reference income), depends on the membership length and is also multiplied with a factor to be determined by the Pension Board.

The effective pension payment corresponds to the difference between the reference income and the SUISA remuneration in the pension year. The level of the guaranteed income is set at a maximum of CHF 38,500 per annum. Those who receive royalties of more than CHF 38,500 from SUISA distributions for performances and broadcasts, even at pension age, will not be eligible to benefit from the UVF.

The fund is financed by the deductions that SUISA makes from all distributions of the collections arising from performances, broadcasts and compensation claims in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (7.5%).

Publishers

SUISA also makes a deduction on behalf of publishers for the UVF. The UVF thus also provides for pension benefits for publishers if they fulfil the conditions in terms of publishing activities in Switzerland. Publishing companies can, however, not be pensioned. As a consequence, they receive benefits from the fund as soon as they are accepted as affiliates and/or members of SUISA; these benefits are made in the form of contributions to their own occupational benefit institution of the second pillar. It is important that publishers inform SUISA about their occupational benefit institution and submit the relevant payment details.

Revised Pension Fund Regulations

There are no fundamental changes to the SUISA benefits system. The most important changes, apart from some specifications and formulations, are:

  1. Various adaptations to the Federal Law on Occupational Retirement, Survivors’ and Disability Pension Plans (BVG).
  2. Conditions for the pension of civil partners – as per the new BVG definition – are: The same regulation shall apply for registered and (unregistered) surviving partners as for surviving spouses.
  3. New competence of the Pension Board (Board of SUISA) for regulation changes.

On SUISA’s website, under www.suisa.ch/fuersorgereglement the new regulations as well as a synoptical representation is available, comparing the old and currently valid regulations with the relevant amendments and comments.

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During SUISA’s ordinary General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne, the review of the Pension Fund Regulations was ratified by SUISA members. The changes came into force per 01 January 2017. What do the new regulations mean for our members? Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold

New Pension Fund Regulations in force from 01 January 2017

The current regulations for the SUISA Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers is available in Italian, French and German on SUISA’s website. (Image: Manu Leuenberger)

There were various reasons for SUISA tabling a review of the Pension Fund Regulations: The old regulations set off discussions time and again on whether they sufficiently reflected practice, and that the wording was not specific enough. These issues could be remedied with the review. On top of the above issues, the regulations had to be adapted to the current legislation (Federal...read more

General Assembly 2016 of the Cooperative Society SUISA in the Paul Klee Centre

217 composers, lyricists and publishers of music have taken part in the SUISA General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne in order to execute their right of co-determination on their cooperative. In addition to the guest speech by SRG Director General Roger de Weck, the foundation award ceremony and the composer in residence allocation of the FONDATION SUISA, the amendment of the Pension Fund Regulations was the central issue.

General Assembly 2016 of the Cooperative Society SUISA in the Paul Klee Centre

In the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, approximately 280 members and guests gathered for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

That’s how co-determination works: The ballots had already been counted in the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, when one SUISA member demanded a repetition of the vote. Many people in the auditorium had apparently not been aware whether the yes or no votes were counted in relation to the revised pension regulations. The vote was therefore repeated without further ado.

Members decide on their cooperative

That’s how a cooperative works: SUISA, the Cooperative Society of music authors and publishers belongs to its members. And they decide in the General Assembly whether the annual report for the previous year will be ratified, which auditing company will be in charge of SUISA’s audit, whether the SUISA Board will be granted a formal approval of its actions – or, as in this case, whether the revised version of the Pension Fund Regulations will be approved.

New Pension Fund Regulations from 2017

Members entitled to vote have finally approved the revised version of the regulations. The new Pension Fund Regulations are more modern and have been adapted to reflect today’s legislation. The most important change affects future changes to the regulations. What’s new is that the foundation board, i.e. the SUISA Board will now be responsible for this.

Guest speech and awards by the FONDATION SUISA

In his guest speech, Roger de Weck, Director General of SRG, told SUISA members and guests among other things how important the collaboration between SRG, SUISA and the artists for the promotion of creating music in Switzerland was.

Music promotion in Switzerland is also supported by the work of the FONDATION SUISA, the music promotion foundation by SUISA. Urs Schnell, the Director of the foundation, honoured the winner of this year’s foundation award, Franz “Fränggi” Gehrig in his speech. The award, valued at CHF 25,000, had the category “new, current Swiss traditional folk music” this year. As Fränggi Gehrig could not take part in the General Assembly, the official award ceremony will be held at the “Stubete am See”, the Zurich festival for new Swiss folk music.

FONDATION SUISA also honoured the Basel pop musician James Gruntz. He received the composer in residence allocation from the foundation. It is worth CHF 80,000 and enables the young artist to work undisturbed and financially independent on his music.

The SUISA General Assembly 2017 takes place on Friday, 23 June 2017, 11.00, in the Kaufleuten in Zurich.
Deadline for motions for the General Assembly: Pursuant to item 9.2.4 of the Articles of Association, SUISA members may submit items for negotiation and applications for the ordinary General Assembly until 20 January of the same year in writing. Such demands have to be supported by at least 50 members and submitted in writing, and mention a representative who is entitled to withdraw or amend the motion.
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217 composers, lyricists and publishers of music have taken part in the SUISA General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne in order to execute their right of co-determination on their cooperative. In addition to the guest speech by SRG Director General Roger de Weck, the foundation award ceremony and the composer in residence allocation of the FONDATION SUISA, the amendment of the Pension Fund Regulations was the central issue.

General Assembly 2016 of the Cooperative Society SUISA in the Paul Klee Centre

In the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, approximately 280 members and guests gathered for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

That’s how co-determination works: The ballots had already been counted in the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, when one SUISA member demanded a repetition of the vote. Many people in the auditorium had apparently not been...read more

SUISA General Assembly 2016: Music meets painting

SUISA’s 2016 General Assembly takes place on Friday morning, 24th June 2016 in the Paul Klee Centre in Berne. With its 4,000 works, the centre holds the most important collection of paintings, water colours and drawings by Paul Klee worldwide. Participants of the General Assembly get free access to the museum after the event. Text by Dora Zeller

Stéphanie Joseph (violin), Anne Gillot (bass clarinet), Jocelyne Rudasigwa (double bass), Ignacio Lamas (guitar) and Jean-Samuel Racine (clarinet) of Boulouris 5 are going to provide the musical overture for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Mercedes Riedi)

The General Assembly 2016 is opened by Boulouris 5. The ensemble consists of one violin, a guitar, a clarinet, a double bass and a bass clarinet, played by five musicians trained in classical music and jazz. They are looking forward to enchant the attending SUISA members with their music and to take them away to an emotionally charged world of sound for a few minutes.

Statutory business: 2015 review

It is not just the financial statements, profit and loss accounts, auditors’ report and annual report due for approval by the General Assembly. What’s new is that the management report, the cash flow statement as well as the annex to the annual accounts 2015 are now also subject to the members’ votes. This is due to the accounting standards that have come into force this year (Swiss GAAP FER).

Current business year: Outlook

SUISA could, once again, report positive financial results last year. By the time of the General Assembly, the first half of business year 2016 will have passed. An interim report is intended to show how the numbers have been developing in the current year.

Pension fund for SUISA authors and publishers

The Board recommends a revision of the pension regulations to be submitted for approval. The current regulations no longer correspond to all requirements in practice and some wordings need to be defined further. There are no plans to change anything in relation to the benefits for the covered authors and publishers though. The revision is intended to provide contemporary regulations which are adapted to today’s legislation.

Guest speaker: Roger de Weck

Roger de Weck is the Director General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG), the biggest user of works protected by copyright in Switzerland. It acquires the relevant usage rights mainly via collective management organisations. It is thus SUISA’s financially most important customer. Under the mandate of the public service, SRG has the mission to provide the Swiss public with radio and TV programmes ensuring plurality of opinion. What this means in real terms and where its challenges lie will be explained by Roger de Weck in his guest speech.

FONDATION SUISA

The FONDATION is a non-profit foundation and obtains its financial means via an annual allocation of 2.5% of SUISA collections from performing and broadcasting rights in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. During the General Assembly, an overview of the activities of SUISA’s foundation for the promotion of music will be given. This includes the announcement on the recipient of the FONDATION SUISA 2016 prize, carrying a value of CHF 25,000.

SUISA members who are entitled to vote may register online for the SUISA General Assembly 2016 at: www.suisa.ch/generalversammlung

We look forward to welcoming you in Berne.

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SUISA’s 2016 General Assembly takes place on Friday morning, 24th June 2016 in the Paul Klee Centre in Berne. With its 4,000 works, the centre holds the most important collection of paintings, water colours and drawings by Paul Klee worldwide. Participants of the General Assembly get free access to the museum after the event. Text by Dora Zeller

Stéphanie Joseph (violin), Anne Gillot (bass clarinet), Jocelyne Rudasigwa (double bass), Ignacio Lamas (guitar) and Jean-Samuel Racine (clarinet) of Boulouris 5 are going to provide the musical overture for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Mercedes Riedi)

The General Assembly 2016 is opened by Boulouris 5. The ensemble consists of one violin, a guitar, a clarinet, a double bass and a bass clarinet, played by five musicians trained in classical music and jazz. They are looking...read more