How else can I prepare for retirement?

What you need to do to ensure you receive your future AHV pension when you retire.

Have you ever considered buying into your pension fund? Or searching your AHV for missing contribution years? Retirement provision is a broad topic. Make the most of your pension by staying well informed.

Maybe you’ve had a baby in the last few years? Or just got divorced? Events like these can have a direct impact on your pension plan. Be vigilant so that you can make full use of your pension provision.
 

Getting your full AHV pension later on

You will only receive the full AHV pension if you have paid into it over the entire “contribution period”. This means you must pay AHV contributions from your 20th birthday until you reach the statutory retirement age, with no gaps.

  • If you are employed, your employer will take care of the AHV contributions. These consist of the employer’s share and yours. The employer deducts your social security contributions such as IV or AHV directly from your salary. The employer then transfers their share and these contributions to the AHV compensation office.
  • If you are self-employed, you must register with the AHV compensation office and pay the contributions yourself. If you’re not employed, you also need to pay your AHV contributions yourself. Married couples are an exception: If one member of the couple does not work, their AHV contribution is covered by that of their partner.
  • If you are not gainfully employed, you must also pay AHV contributions. Your contribution may already be covered by your spouse’s AHV contribution.
     

If you miss contribution years

If you do not pay AHV contributions for one or more years, your pension will be reduced by 2.3% for each missing year. These missing contribution years can arise if you live abroad over a period of time for work. During this period, you would have to pay your AHV contributions yourself because you are no longer gainfully employed in Switzerland. Another reason for missing contribution years may be divorce. If you are not gainfully employed, you will no longer be covered by your spouse’s AHV contributions. In this case, you must pay the AHV contributions yourself after the divorce.

A contribution year is deemed to have been paid if you have transferred the minimum amount of CHF 514 (as at 2023).

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Discover missing years and pay them retroactively

The AHV compensation office maintains an individual account (IK) in your name. Your income and the resulting AHV contributions are recorded there. By looking at this account you can see whether you have missed any contribution years. If this is the case, you can pay the outstanding amounts retroactively. This late payment can be made voluntarily and retroactively for the last five years.

Generali tip
Check your individual account (IK) as soon as you can. If you discover missing contribution years when you retire, it will be too late. Your pension will be reduced accordingly. You can order the statement for your IK account via a form you can find at www.ahv-iv.ch. If you discover any gaps in your account, contact your AHV compensation office.
 

Benefit from paying into your pension fund

Your pension fund (PF) is your pillar 2, your occupational pension. If your annual salary exceeds a certain threshold, you are automatically insured as an employee in your company’s pension fund. Your employer is responsible for this pension. Your pension certificate will show how much money is in your pension fund and how big your pension will be. You’ll get one every year.

You can pay into your pension fund with additional funds. This is possible if you could not save the full amount in the past. Possible reasons are:

  • If you have not worked for a long time after the birth of your child.
  • If you have changed jobs and your PF now offers higher benefits.
  • If you had to transfer parts of your PF to your ex-partner in a divorce.

You can purchase these missing benefits. In other words, you pay this missing money into your pension fund later on. You can deduct this amount from your taxes and thus save a lot of money depending on your income and marginal tax rate. The maximum possible purchase amount is shown on your pension certificate.

Important: Did you buy your own home and use money from your pension fund to pay for it? Then you must first repay this withdrawal in full before you can buy into the pension fund. At the same time, you may not withdraw any money from the pension fund for three years after you have made a purchase. This rule also applies if you buy a home or retire.

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