The FMA safeguards client protection as part of its supervisory work relating to institutions for occupational retirement provision (pension funds). Pension funds, which are subject to the Law on the Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (Pension Funds Act; PFA), require a licence by the FMA to take up their business activities. The FMA supervises all business activities of pensions funds and requires them to comply with appropriate internal control procedures. Within the framework of its supervisory activities, the FMA monitors compliance with laws, fulfillment of solvency requirements, setting aside of the required provisions, and protection of the concerns of future beneficiaries. Additionally, the institutions are required to provide regular information to future beneficiaries, current beneficiaries, and sponsoring undertakings concerning the rules governing the retirement provision systems, benefits, and the course of business.
Disputes involving pension funds, employers, insured persons and claimants are decided by the regular courts. The FMA is thus in principle not able to be of immediate help to individual complainants in enforcing their claims against a supervised pension fund. As the supervisory authority, the FMA may, however, play a type of mediation role during the pre-litigation phase and obtain information from the pension fund. At all times, the FMA is required to remain objective in relations with the supervised undertakings and their clients.
Information and complaints from future or current beneficiaries are used as an important source of insight in the supervisory work of the FMA and may thus make a significant contribution to the early recognition of faulty systemic processes. In this sense, frequent complaints are an important indication that the FMA must intervene. The FMA's complaints management is also intended to ensure that information regarding relevant faulty developments or violations of supervisory norms are recognized early on and that appropriate measures can be taken.