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Swiss 3 Pillar System

Retirement benefits

The amount of income paid in retirement is dependant upon four things

  • How many years you have contributed into the 1st Pillar

  • The level of contributions you have made

  • Any equivalent credits you may have received for bringing up children or caring for others

  • Whether or not you are married

In order to receive a full pension in retirement you must have made contributions in full from the age of 20 until the retirement age – currently 64 for women and 65 for men. You may also draw an income early (up to two years before retirement age) or choose to defer receiving an income (up to five years after normal retirement age). Drawing early will result in a smaller income and drawing later will result in a higher income than would normally be expected.It is also possible to close gaps by paying in missing contributions. However, this can only be done for missing contributions dating back five years and only if you were insured in Switzerland during this period.For married couples, the sum of their two combined individual pensions may not exceed 150% of the maximum single person’s pension.

Old age and survivor’s insurance – OASI


The Pillar 1 pension scheme, also referred to as the OASI, is the Swiss state pension scheme. It is the government’s equivalent part of the 3 Pillar system – with the occupational 2nd Pillar and private 3rd Pillar making up the three Pillars. The 1st Pillar is mandatory in Switzerland for all workers, although contributions can also be made by unemployed persons. In addition to pension benefits, the 1st Pillar also includes

  • Invalidity insurance

  • Compensation for loss of earnings

  • Unemployment insurance

  • Supplementary insurance

Contributions are made throughout a person’s working life. These contributions are made by both the employee and the employer. In the case of a person being self-employed, he or she must make up both parts, although the total contribution should be slightly lower than that of an employed person.

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