Second Pillar

Whereas in Switzerland occupational benefit plan insurance is compulsory for wage-earners and voluntary for the self-employed, only voluntary insurance is available as a rule for Swiss nationals living abroad.

When a working relationship reaches its conclusion, the social security protection acquired by the employee is as a rule transferred in the form of a freedom of transfer benefit to the new employer's social security institution. The Swiss abroad have the option to either choose to continue the insurance with their former employer's social security institution, provided their constitution allows it, or else with the Auffangeinrichtung BVG in depositing the sum on an account or on a portable benefit account at a bank or insurance. Cash payment of the amount is only very exceptionally allowed on certain conditions and is only possible on request (when a person leaves Switzerland permanently, sets up business on his/her own account, or when the exit benefit amount is inferior to the annual total of the insured person's contributions).


By becoming a member of a pension fund, and thus joining a social security institution, you can insure yourself against the risk of death and disablement as well as having an additional retirement annuity on top of the minimum pension guaranteed by the OASI, which will enable you to largely maintain your former standard of living during your retirement.


The Occupational Benefit Plan came into force on January 1, 1985, intended to complete the Swiss contingency system in OASI and DI cases. In view of the fact that the OASI and the DI ‘solely' provide for a person's minimum basic needs, the occupational benefit plan must ensure he/she can maintain the standard of living he/she has been used to.


The following benefits are insured: old-age pension, retired persons' child's pension, disabled pension, disabled person's child's pension, widow's pension, orphan's pension.


The amount and form of the benefits vary from one social security body to another (it is their responsibility to organize and administer their security benefits.) There can however sometimes be appreciable differences. The law nevertheless requires minimal social security in the sense of minimum protection.