Swiss Pension System a.k.a. Pillars for dummies and immigrants

Gruezi RIP Freunde,

This very long post is about the Swiss Pension System, with special attention to information for immigrants.

Let’s ask the main question: when and how are you suppose to retire in Switzerland?

In Switzerland you usually start working very early. Legal minimum depends on the kind of job and accordingly to wikipedia you may be allowed to work at age 13 (upon parental permission).

During your active years you accumulate retirement assets and then, at retirement age, you can finally use these assets by getting annuities and/or withdrawing lump sums.

Traditional Swiss retirement age is 65 for men and 64 for women. I heard they’re going to unify this soon to 65 for both genders. As everywhere else there’s public regulation over pension system (like Italy), things change over time, usually for the worse, due to increased life expectancy and high national public debt.

Ok, how does the Swiss pension system work?

Let’s introduce the 3 Pillars System: state pension, work pension, private pension.


Let’s take a closer look at each pillar, one by one.

This article is structured in pages. Click on next page to start with Pillar 1 🙂

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