It is only possible to exit the second pillar and receive a payout of your vested benefits in a few exceptional cases. For example, when you leave Switzerland or when you become self-employed.
Make sure you are well-informed ahead of time
Is the big wide world calling you away from Switzerland? In addition to all the preparations for such a major step, do not forget about your pension fund. You may have already amassed considerable savings that could help you gain a foothold in your new location. However, keep in mind that the compulsory part of your pension may not be paid out if you are still compulsorily insured against the financial consequences of old age, disability and death in an EU or EFTA country. This compulsory part of your pension is «parked» in Switzerland. If your adventures take you further abroad, your entire pension can be paid out. Important: the cash payment is subject to withholding tax and only takes place after you have given up your place of residence in Switzerland.
Another instance in which your pension from the second pillar can be paid out is if you become self-employed. With this step you will also become responsible for planning your own pension fund. You can voluntarily join a pension fund or pay a higher maximum amount into the 3rd pillar.
In both cases, it is advisable to contact the pension fund well in advance so you can start all the modalities and formalities.