The Swiss pension system is one of the most robust in the world, adhering to all the clichés around Swiss efficiency. For expats living in Switzerland, taking advantage of the pension system can certainly lead to an attractive and sustainable retirement income.
The Swiss pension system is based around the country’s strong social security provisions but there are numerous similarities between the Swiss system and that of the UK. Much like in the UK for example, the Swiss system offers a basic state pension to everybody, based on a period of subscription into the system. In addition, each individual is strongly encouraged to take out other types of provision, such as company and personal pensions, on top of these state benefits. As an incentive to save into the pension system all contributions are tax deductible.
By way of differentiating them, the Swiss government categorises the different types of pension into three distinct ‘Pillars’: Pillar 1, Pillar 2, and Pillar 3.
The provisions from the first two pillars of the Swiss pension system are designed to provide a basic standard of living equivalent to around 60% of average salary for an individual in retirement. This is why the Pillar 3 pensions – or personal pensions – are designed to be a key part of your retirement plans if you are a resident in Switzerland.
The state pension forms the foundations of an individual’s pension benefits, while the ‘occupational’ and ‘private’ contributions are used to enhance these state benefits. While the first two Pillars of pension benefits are compulsory, Pillar 3 - or personal - provisions are entirely optional.
Here at Belgravia Wealth Management SARL, we highly recommend contributing to the optional 3a Pillar, and are expertly positioned to offer advice on how to optimise your income through this scheme.
By contributing to the Pillar 3a pension, you can offset it against your taxes, minimising your final tax bill, and so while it is optional to make these contributions, for many it is a no brainer.
Pillar 3b, on the other hand, has no taxable allowance and is designed for those looking to actively top up their pension provisions.
For more advice regarding your options surrounding the 3rd Swiss Pillar, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our Swiss based experts.
You could benefit from consolidating all or some of your existing pension benefits, and we will make recommendations about how to invest your pension pot, and work with you to keep on top of ensuring your assets are appropriate to your time of life – wherever those assets are. Not only can we guide you on your Swiss pension provisions, but we can also talk to you about the best course of action for any existing UK-based pension benefits that you might have accrued or pensions existing in previous countries of residence.
Learn more about our Swiss Pension expert, Derek Graham, here.