One in four employed women in Switzerland has no pillar 2 insurance, i.e. no pension fund (Federal Social Insurance Office 2020). This means that just under 500,000 women will have to forgo pension benefits from a pension fund – in other words, they lack at least one of the three pillars of the Swiss pension system.

Why this number is important

According to the UBS Investor Watch study, retirement planning is one of the most important long-term financial needs of women. For many women, higher life expectancy, interruptions to their working lives due to maternity and a lower average income – sometimes on account of more frequent part-time work – also lead to pension gaps. This makes all three pillars of the Swiss pension system – including occupational retirement planning via a pension fund – vitally important for women in particular.

From an annual income of around 21,000 francs, it is compulsory to have a pension fund with an employer – but women who have one or more part-time jobs often do not reach this amount. In this case, it is advisable to make full use of the possibilities offered by the third pillar. This can prevent pension gaps and allow women to benefit from tax advantages at the same time. Anyone without a pension fund can pay 20% of their net earned income into pillar 3a each year.

Regardless of whether or not you are currently covered by an occupational pension scheme, you should discuss your retirement planning regularly and at an early stage, and take advantage of all the options available. Find out how this can be achieved in the article “Trust is good, control is better”.

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