Social Security

Social Security

What types of social security exist in Switzerland?
The social security system in Swtzerland covers illness, occupational accidents and diseases, old age, death and invalidity (basic insurance and occupational pension scheme), as well as unemployment. The system also covers maternity leave and family benefits.

OASI/DI PENSION (AHV/IV) – Old age, survivors’ and disability insurance scheme
Contributions to the OASI/DI scheme are mandatory and cover:

  • old age (old age pension)
  • disability (disability pension)
  • death of spouse or a parent (surviving dependants)

The OASI/DI (1st pillar) is the basic insurance and is valid for all persons who live or work in Switzerland.

What does being insured mean for me?

  • membership of the OASI/DI scheme implies both rights and obligations
  • the main obligation being the payment of premiums
  • the premiums generate benefits (e.g. pensions) when you retire or become disabled
  • in event of your death, your family members receive a surviving dependants pension


When am I insured?
All persons who live or work in Switzerland, including children, are insured. On completion of the insur-ance application you will receive an OASI/DI (AHV/IV) insurance certificate showing your personal insurance number. This number must be declared on all correspondence with the OASI/DI (AHV/IV) administration office. The OASI/DI (AHV/IV) and the occupational pension (BVG) schemes are dealt with seperately and are operated by different institutional bodies:

  • the OASI/DI (AHV/IV) scheme by the relevant administration office
  • occupational pension schemes are operated by pension fund companies and the organisation of the fund varies according to the operating company
  • all employers, with persons in their employ who come under the obligation to belong to the above schemes, are legally obliged to belong to a state registered pension fund


The obligation to join the insurance schemes begins with the commencement of employment, from 18 years of age onwards. There is no obligation for insurance for a person with several jobs, none of which pay more than CHF 2'300 annually, even when the annual total of earnings from all jobs exceed this amount. It is open to the person to insure themselves voluntarily.

How do I pay the insurance premiums?
You are obliged to make insurance contributions from January 1st of the year when you reach 18 years. Unemployed persons pay premiums from January 1st of the year when they reach 21 years and until they reach the normal retirement age (64 years for women, 65 years for men). If you are in employment, the premium contributions are split between the employee and the employer. The employer pays 50%. Your contribution is deducted directly from your pay and remitted together with the contribution from your employer to the OASI/DI (AHV/IV) administration office.

Occupational Pension Scheme (BVG) = 2nd Pillar Scheme
www.swissstaffing.ch

The occupational pension scheme is obligatory and covers:

  • old age (old age pension)
  • disability (disability pension)
  • death of spouse or a parent (surviving dependants)

 
The occupational pension scheme (2nd pillar) is a company pension scheme and mandatory only for persons in employment in Switzerland.

What does being insured mean for me?
Membership of a company pension scheme implies both rights and obligations, the main obligation being the payment of premiums. The premiums generate benefits (e.g. pensions) when you retire or become disabled. In event of your death, your family members or your heirs receive, under certain conditions, a surviving dependants pension.

How do I pay the insurance premiums?
The premium contributions are split between the employee and the employer, with the employer making a minimum contribution of 50%. Your contribution is deducted directly from your pay and paid together with the contribution from your employer to the pension fund company. Your vested benefits are always held in the pension fund of your current company. When changing employers, your accumulated vested benefit must be transferred to the pension fund company of your new employer. You cannot freely dispose of your money and it can only be withdrawn from the fund under certain conditions.

Unemployment Insurance (ALV)
All persons in Switzerland who are in employment and have not yet reached retirement age, are compulsorily insured against umemployment. The premium contributions are split between the employee and the employer.

Non Work-related Accident Insurance (NBU)
Employee are insured by SUVA (Swiss Accident Insurance Organisation) against risks occurred during working time. Employees with an average of 8 working hours weekly are also insured against non work-related accidents. The employer pays the employee 80% of the usual pay when the accident claim has been accepted by SUVA and receives re-imbursement from SUVA. Compensation payment from SUVA releases the employer from the obligation to continue wage payment. The waiting time is maximum 3 days.

Payment of the insurance premium for risks occurring during working time is assumed by the employer and the employee pays the contribution for the insurance for non work-related accidents.

Overview