Under the insurance obligation for occupational benefits in place since 1985, employees 25 years and older must be insured for retirement benefits, provided that their annual income is CHF 21,510 (as at 1.1.2021) or higher.
This threshold has been raised continuously over the years. In 1985 the threshold was still CHF 16,560 and in 2003 CHF 25,230. As of 2005, the affiliation threshold was lowered from CHF 25,800 under the old rules to CHF 19,350.
There are exceptions from compulsory insurance in the following cases:
- The employment contract is for 3 months or less;
- employment in Switzerland is not permanent and the person concerned has equivalent insurance abroad;
- the employer is not subject to the duty to pay contributions (e.g. embassies, international organisations);
- the person concerned earns income from secondary employment and already has compulsory insurance for the main employment activity or is self-employed in the main profession;
- the person concerned is at least 70 % disabled;
- insurance is compulsory for unemployed persons only to cover the risks of death and disability. Under this pure risk insurance, no savings capital is accumulated and no entitlement to pension assets therefore arises;
- likewise, only pure risk insurance is mandatory for persons who have not yet reached the age of 25.