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Old age and survivors' insurance (AVS)


If you are employed, you need not worry about your social security contributions as it is your employer’s responsibility to pay them into the Compensation Office.  For administrative purposes, AVS/AI/APG contributions are taken together at an overall rate of 10.60%.  Within this overall rate, AVS is 8.7%, AI is 1.4% and APG is 0.50%. Your employer will deduct from your gross salary a part of the contributions due (5.30%) and will pay in himself an identical share (5.30%).  The obligation terminates when you reach retirement age and have ceased all paid employment.  If you carry on working, contributions will be levied after deduction of an exemption of CHF 1,400 per month or CHF 16,800 per year.  If you remain in employment after drawing your pension, the amount of your salary will not have any effect on the amount of the pension.


You have pension entitlement when you reach retirement age (64 for a woman and 65 for a man), provided you have paid contributions for at least one complete year.  With a flexible retirement system you may obtain payment one to two years early, or postpone it by one to five years. If you take early retirement, your pension will be reduced (by 6.8% if you take it one year early and 13.6% if you take it two years early) and you will have to carry on paying your AVS contributions until you reach statutory retirement age.  If you decide to postpone the start of your retirement, you will receive a monthly deferment supplement to complement your old-age pension. The amount of the pension depends on how much and how long you have contributed, with a maximum statutory amount per person or per couple.  This important information can be tracked thanks to your social security number (NSS) which can be found on your AVS card.  You can check out your situation any time by requesting a statement of account, free of charge.


The AVS pension is not paid out automatically so you must ask your employer to give you the appropriate form at least six months in advance. Ideally, the Compensation Fund should receive your claim three to four months prior to the date you have chosen for receiving your pension or, at the very latest, during the month of your birthday.  If you want to defer your pension, a claim should be put in at the latest during the year following the start of your entitlement.  To avoid rendering your claim null and void, it is very important that you stop any pension payments.