Frequently Asked Questions.
Requirements and conditions for private contributions to your pension fund can be found here:
Leaflet Private contributions to the pension fund
To calculate the maximum allowable contribution you’ll need to complete this form and send it to your pension fund, duly signed:
Application to make private contributions to obtain the full benefits in accordance with regulations.
Pension fund capital can be drawn in advance mainly for taking out a mortgage on a home. Details and all relevant information can be found here: Leaflet Encouragement of home ownership
In order to draw pension fund capital in advance, you’ll need to complete and send the following form to your pension fund, duly signed:
Application to draw pension fund capital in advance
No, British pension funds cannot transfer your funds. A rule of thumb: if your home country allows you to withdraw your pension fund capital, then you could theoretically make a private contribution to a pension fund in Switzerland (See Private contributions). Of course, you’ll need to take the ability to make personal contributions into account (see Private contributions, etc.)
If you’re taking up residence in an EU/EFTA country, your private contributions can be paid out. However, the obligatory part of your old age pension contributions (BVG) must remain in Switzerland in a vested benefit account and will only be paid out once you reach the retirement age of 65. The pension contributions are listed on your personal insurance statement under the title “Pension information”. The non-obligatory part of your pension contributions is equivalent to the difference between “existing pension contributions” and “pensions according to BVG”.
The relevant paperwork (leaving documents, pension pay-out forms, application form to examine legal obligation to insure, official confirmation of emigration) must have reached the pension institution at least three weeks prior to leaving the country. Private contributions will be regarded as non-obligatory old age benefits. Any payments made after January 1, 2006 remain frozen for a period of three years after the date of payment. After this period, you can have it paid out as cash when leaving Switzerland.
As far as Swiss law is concerned, EU member countries include the “old” member states and the new ones which were ratified as members in 2005. EFTA countries include Norway and Iceland. If you move to Liechtenstein, the same rules will apply as in Switzerland. Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007, will be considered non-member countries until further notice.
Should you be taking up residence in a non-EU/EFTA country, the entire pension fund capital (both obligatory and private contribution) may be paid out in full.
Should you be taking up residence in an EU/EFTA country that does not require obligatory social insurance contributions for old age, death and disability, you may also request that the pension fund capital be paid out as long as you can prove that the legal requirements have been met.
((If you have taken out pension-backed mortgage on your home in Switzerland your are still bound to this contract as though you were still a resident of Switzerland.))
Drawing pension fund capital in advance to finance your own home will continue to be possible without restrictions, even if you live in an EU/EFTA country and the home concerned is in that country.
All pension fund pay-outs are subject to Swiss taxes.
For more information or if your questions have not been answered, we would advise you to get in touch with an insurance professional.
Leaflet Cash payment of vested benefits from 1st June 2007
If your annual income exceeds CHF 120,000, then you are required to file tax forms in Switzerland. Tax forms are available from your local tax registry office.
Yes. We have collaborated for years with this company:
CDC C. Dietrich Consulting
Aemtlerstrasse 17/Postfach 9568
T +41 44 455 50 50
The application form which you generally get when you view the property must be completed and sent with a copy of your current payment collection record to the property management company. Payment collection records may be requested from your local payment collection office.
Yes. Most rental management companies require you to have liability insurance as well as personal home insurance. We recommend Zurich Insurance: www.zurich.ch
If you hold a valid foreign driver’s license, it is valid in Switzerland for the first 12 months of residency. After this period, the foreign driver’s license is no longer valid in Switzerland.
Professionals who drive especially registered vehicles in Switzerland of the categories C and C1 (trucks), D (vehicles for private parties/entertainment) or D1 are required to hold a Swiss driver’s license immediately (before driving in conjunction with their duties). This also applies to professionals who transport persons using vehicles of the categories F, B, B1 or “higher”.
Switzerland only recognizes foreign driver’s licenses held by individuals with official Swiss residence status if the license was obtained while residing in their home country over a period of 12 months in succession.
Those who have a valid foreign driver’s license must submit the following documents to the relevant motor vehicles office to acquire a Swiss driver’s license:
- Swiss driver’s license application form
- Foreign driver’s license (original)
- A valid residency permit
- Recent passport color photograph (35 × 45 mm)
- Eye test (refer to the Swiss driver’s license application form)
You can download an application form here:
In Zurich: A monthly access pass for Zone 10.
This pass offers good value and is the most convenient way to travel in Zurich using public transportation. More information is available here:
Throughout Switzerland: Half-rate pass (1/2 Price Pass)
The 1/2 Price Pass quickly pays for itself. Your options are for one, two, or three year validity. With this pass you pay only half-fare on most public transit systems throughout Switzerland. You can purchase your 1/2 Price Pass at any SBB ticket office.
You will need a passport photo and an ID.
Throughout Switzerland: General Pass
With a General Pass (GP) you can use all public transit systems and most private train networks anywhere in Switzerland as often as you like. This includes PostBus buses, boats, trams and buses in many Swiss cities and urban areas. With a General Pass you will also receive discounts on many mountain cableways.
Health and accident insurance
Yes. Either you get cover with an officially accepted provider before you leave your home country or you apply for cover with a Swiss health insurance company on arrival.
If you like we can offer you health insurance through Helsana Group. Monthly premiums are calculated based on age and where you’ll be living. To keep monthly premiums to a minimum we suggest choosing the maximum deductible of CHF 2,500 per year. This means you pay any medical costs up to CHF 2,500. Medical costs that exceed CHF 2,500 will be paid by your insurance provider at a rate of 80 percent.
Collect all your doctor bills, receipts for medications which require a prescription, bills for physiotherapy, etc. At the beginning of December, send them in an envelope to Progrès or your insurance company. The correct address is on your health insurance card. Progrès or your health insurer will calculate the reimbursement to which you are entitled and send that amount to you by bank transfer.
If you would like to be exempt from Swiss health insurance you will need to have health insurance in Switzerland which conforms completely to the Swiss Health Insurance Law. Please send a copy of your existing insurance policy along with a letter from your insurer explicitly stating that you are covered in Switzerland. This will be reviewed by the official Swiss health authority. Decisions by the Swiss health authority are made on a case-by-case basis.
Before the hospital or the physician can issue the bill to the insurance company, an accident report has to be completed and filed. In this case, please contact our Care Team as soon as possible.
Relocating to/from Switzerland
If you’ll be working in Switzerland for more than three months, you are required to register at your commune’s Residents’ Registration Office within eight days following your arrival (in the city of Zurich in the district office of their district). You will need the following documents for registration:
- Work contract
- If you are married: marriage license
- If you have children: birth certificates
- If available: lease
- Passport photo
Your registration will be forwarded to the Immigration Office where a residence permit will be issued. Depending on your regional office and canton, this process takes four to six weeks. The relevant office will inform you in writing when your residence permit is ready to be picked up. Both registration and the residence permit are chargeable and to be paid for in cash. In Zurich registration costs CHF 25.00 and the residence permit CHF 65.00. Associated fees in other regions may vary. You can find more information here:
If you have decided to leave Switzerland, you must deregister from your commune’s Residents’ Registration Office.
City of Zurich: Zurich City Hall
City of Berne: Berne Immigration Police
Canton of Vaud: Vevey Residency Office
When you go to deregister make sure you take your passport and your residence permit with you. You will receive a deregistration document confirming that you are relocating. Should you not receive one immediately, ask for it. You’ll need this document to notify your pension fund and your health insurer. The process: Send us your deregistration document and we will take the appropriate measures for you.