The Caisse de pensions des interprètes et traducteurs de conférence (CPIT) [Pension Fund for Conference Interpreters and Translators] - formerly known as the Caisse commune de pension des interprètes et traducteurs de conférence - is a foundation under Swiss law, originally set up in 1970 in Geneva by conference interpreters and translators.
Translators who are members of the International Association of Conference Translators (AITC) and interpreters who are members of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) can contribute to the CPIT in order to receive a pension on retirement (in the form of a monthly income or a lump sum or a combination of the two).
The Fund also offers disability benefits, a widow's or widower's pension for pensioners' spouses (or a partner's pension in the event of the death of an unmarried pensioner) and, in the event of the death of a member prior to retirement, payment of the entire vested principal to his or her heirs.
The Fund currently has more than 400 members. Proof of work as a conference translator or interpreter for major international organisations is a prerequisite for joining the Fund (entry is automatic for members or candidate members of AITC or AIIC). In addition, members under the age of 30 are exempted from the payment of costs for a period of up to two years (see Advantages).
The General Assembly, which appoints the members of the Foundation Council, meets every three years; the next Assembly is scheduled for 2018.
While the retirement age (at which members are entitled to receive benefits from the Fund) is 65 in principle, the CPIT allows members who wish to go on working beyond that age to continue to contribute up to 70 years of age, thus deferring the time when they start to receive their retirement pension and proportionally enhancing the benefits they will receive. Conversely, early retirement is allowed as of age 60.
The CPIT is subject to the provisions of the Swiss legislation on pension funds, which allows full transfer of benefits to and from other Swiss provident institutions. Members who join the Fund after the age of 20 may retroactively purchase years of contribution in order to improve their retirement pension.
The CPIT is recognized both by the United Nations system and by the European and coordinated organizations.
The CPIT aims in the long run to ensure an annual return on capital of about 4 to 4,5 per cent; if results permit, and provided that the necessary reserves have been built up, additional returns are entirely redistributed among members (including retirees already in receipt of their monthly pensions). The Fund operates on the basis of a capitalization rather than a distribution principle, which means that it is able to discharge its financial obligations, irrespective of the number of members or the contributor/pensioner ratio.
The Fund's assets, which are nearly 60 million Swiss francs, are managed by two major Swiss banks specializing in portfolio management, Pictet and UBS. Investment policy is governed by the Swiss legislation on pension funds, which implies prudent, long-term management. The CPIT benefits are calculated and paid in Swiss francs, but may be transferred to any country. The return on Fund investments is exempted from Swiss tax; only its benefits (income or lump sum) are taxable.