New job – new pension fund
Job change, resignation
Changing your job almost always means changing your pension fund. After all, every employer is free to choose their own pension fund. What is important is that you take your pension savings with you as a vested benefit.
Take your money with you when you change jobs
"Please transfer your vested benefits to us with the enclosed payment slip." Your new pension fund will send you a letter something like this to remind you to transfer your pension savings to your new pension fund. Every employee in Switzerland with a minimum annual income of CHF 22'050 (as of 2023) is insured in the second pillar and saves for their pension. - Your account is managed by the pension fund of the current employer as long as you are employed with the company. The money is invested to make the best profit possible. This ensures that you will receive a pension for the rest of your life.
This procedure takes place every time you change jobs – provided of course that you are between 21 and 60 years old and have not made any other pension claims, for example for a disability. If you do not provide us with a new pension fund, a vested benefits account with a bank or a vested benefits policy with an insurance company when you change jobs, your money will be forwarded to the Foundation for the BVG Contingency Fund.
More on changing jobs
You are of working age but cannot find a job. Unemployment is never pleasant. However, it is still good to know that you will keep the money you have already saved in your pension fund and the contingency fund will cover the risks of death and disability. Read here for more information.
It is only possible to exit the second pillar and receive a payout of your vested benefits in a few exceptional cases. Read here for more information.
BVK also allows you to bridge any contribution gap from the age of 58 to a maximum age of 65. Read here for more information.
Frequently asked questions regarding termination benefits
Termination benefits are the savings capital that you have accumulated in your account at BVK. The amount is listed on your pension fund statement.
The amount of the termination benefits is equal to your available savings capital when you leave the pension fund. This is comprised of the employee and employer savings contributions, any purchases and the vested benefits as well as interest.
Termination benefits are generally due if the insured person has ended his or her employment relationship and therefore leaves the BVK.
Those who meet the following conditions are entitled to termination benefits:
a) The insured person has not turned 60 before leaving the pension fund.
b) A disability pension is not being paid.
c) The employment relationship has ended after the insured person turns 60 – but before he or she has reached the normal AHV retirement age – and the insured person commences a new job immediately or registers as unemployed with the regional employment agency (RAV).
If the insured person changes jobs, BVK is legally obligated to transfer the full termination benefits to the pension fund of your new employer. If you do not join a new pension fund, you may either have your pension assets transferred to a vested benefits account at a bank or conclude a vested benefits policy with an insurance company.
You can also maintain your occupational pension at the BVG Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution. You can find further information at www.chaeis.net or call 044 468 22 22.
If you do not send payment instructions within six months of leaving the pension fund, BVK will transfer your termination benefits to the BVG Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution (to a vested benefits account in your name).
A vested benefits account is a blocked account to which your pension assets are deposited. Pension benefits are not insured. Transferring your pension assets to a vested benefits account is recommended if you plan to transfer your savings to a pension fund at a later point. You can obtain more detailed information from your bank.
With a vested benefits policy, the pension assets are not only deposited but also insured. So the policy can be terminated early without incurring a loss. If you plan to transfer your pension assets to a pension fund after a short period of time, a vested benefits policy is less appropriate. You can obtain information from the insurance company that maintains the policy.
Yes, under certain circumstances is this possible. A cash payment means that your termination benefits are transferred to an account that is not blocked, such as a private account. If the termination benefits are transferred to an account that is not blocked, capital taxes will be due.
A cash payment is possible if:
a) You leave Switzerland permanently and do not live in Liechtenstein. The obligatory portion of the termination benefits («BVG retirement savings») may not be paid in cash if you continue to be required to be insured against the financial consequences of age, disability or death in an EU or EFTA member state. In this case, the obligatory portion will be transferred to a vested benefits account or a vested benefits policy in Switzerland. The non-obligatory portion can be transferred to a nonblocked account (e.g. a private account). If you are not required to be affiliated with the social insurance system in an EU or EFTA member state, the termination benefits may be paid out fully in cash. The insured person must present proof of this status. You can have the 2nd Pillar Central Office (www.zentralstelle.ch) clarify whether you are subject to the insurance obligation.
Cash payments are subject to withholding tax and are only made after the insured person has given up his or her Swiss residence. In all cases, confirmation of deregistration must be provided from the Residents’ Registration Office.
b) You become self-employed and are therefore no longer subject to obligatory occupational pension coverage. In this case, you must submit confirmation that you are self-employed from the AHV compensation office to BVK.
The amount corresponding to the buy-in, including interest, may not be drawn as a lump sum (advance withdrawal to purchase a residential property, lump-sum withdrawal upon retirement or cash payment of the termination benefits) for the next three years.
c) If the termination benefit is less than one of the insured person’s annual contributions.
Insured persons who are not married or living in a registered partnership must include current proof of their civil status with the request for a lumpsum payment. Insured persons who are married or living in a registered partnership need a certified signature from their spouse or registered partner.
Following termination, you will receive the «Personal Declaration» form from your employer. You can find this form on our website under «Services/Downloads/Formulare». You can use this form to submit binding instructions to us on how we should proceed with your termination benefits. Please answer all questions completely and send us the signed form at the latest by the time you leave the pension fund.