Restriction of cash payment after departure abroad

A person leaving Switzerland permanently to settle in an EU or EFTA country and requesting the cash payment of their occupational pension assets must provide proof that they are not subject to compulsory insurance for old age, disability and survivors’ benefits in the country concerned.


The cash payment of pension assets upon departure abroad is not possible in the following circumstances:

  • Departure takes place after 31.5.2007 and
  • the cash payment relates to a credit balance from the statutory minimum benefits (LOB) and
  • the insured person moves to an EU or EFTA country and
  • the person concerned must have compulsory state insurance for retirement, disability and survivors' benefits in the new country.

A person taking up self-employment activities in a member state of the EU or EFTA is not entitled to refund of compulsory savings balances if the person is still required to have compulsory pension, disability and survivors' benefit insurance in the member state concerned.

If the occupational benefit credit balance of a particular person comprises benefit claims under both compulsory and non-compulsory schemes, only the benefit from the compulsory scheme can no longer be paid out in cash. If any one of the above points is not satisfied, the entire credit balance can still be drawn in cash on departure abroad.

Cash payment is not allowed if an insured person leaves Switzerland permanently to live in Liechtenstein.

If the cash payment is not possible, the credit balance will be retained in Switzerland on a blocked account (vested benefits account or vested benefits policy). On reaching ordinary retirement age or no less than five years before ordinary retirement age, the credit balance is paid out to the person concerned. No transfer of the credit balance from an occupational benefit scheme to the foreign social insurance scheme will be made.
 

Exceptions

(No clarification needed)

The capital pay-out is possible without verification of the insurance situation in the country of destination, provided that the disbursement takes place as a retirement benefit. Assets held in vested benefit accounts or policies may be withdrawn in cash as of five years prior to the ordinary age of retirement, which means that women may do so as of age 59 years and men as of 60 years.

Credit balances from occupational benefit schemes may also be disbursed without Guarantee Fund clarification if they are in excess of the statutory minimum benefits (called non-compulsory credit balances).

The possibility of withdrawing funds early in order to buy a residential property is not affected by the limitations and this may be done without Guarantee Fund clarification.

In the event of departure to a country outside the EU or the EFTA, no clarification of the insurance situation by the Guarantee Fund is needed.

Clarification of the insurance obligation:
How do I proceed?

The LOB Guarantee Fund has elaborated cooperation agreements regarding the clarification of the compulsory social insurance liability with the social insurance authorities of various states and correspondingly prepared application forms.

The form for the country concerned must be filled out completely, signed and submitted to the LOB Guarantee Fund with the requested enclosures. The clarification with the competent social insurance authority takes place at the earliest 90 days following departure from Switzerland. At the same time, the LOB Guarantee Fund checks whether other occupational benefit credit balances have been reported for the applicant person. The foreign social insurance authority verifies whether the person is subject to compulsory insurance. The outcome of that verification is communicated to the LOB Guarantee Fund, which in turn informs both the applicant person and the pension scheme concerned. If the person is not subject to the requirement of state insurance, the pension scheme may pay out the entire occupational benefit credit balance.

The application form contains detailed questions and may be completed no earlier than three months following departure or cessation of employment (cross-border commuters). The form must be submitted to the LOB Guarantee Fund fully completed and signed, together with the attachments requested. The applications are then forwarded to the competent authority. At the same time, the LOB Guarantee Fund checks whether other occupational benefit credit balances have been reported for the applicant person. The outcomes of the clarifications are communicated in writing to the LOB Guarantee Fund, which in turn informs both the applicant and the occupational benefits scheme (pension fund or vested benefits foundation), also in writing, whether a pay-out of the compulsory portion of the credit balance may take place.

Persons departing Switzerland permanently to settle in France or ceasing their employment in Switzerland (cross-border commuters) must complete in full the first part of the application form for France, then have the second part of the form filled in by the appropriate French health insurance fund (e.g. CPAM). The French health insurance fund may complete the second part of the form no earlier than 90 days after the departure from Switzerland or the cessation of paid employment in Switzerland. The application form must then be signed and submitted together with the necessary enclosures to the LOB Guarantee Fund. The LOB Guarantee Fund then informs the applicant person and the account-keeping scheme in writing of the outcome of the clarification. It also verifies whether the Second Pillar Central Office has been notified of any other occupational benefit credit balances for the applicant.

A person departing for Greece must complete and sign the corresponding form and send it to the LOB Guarantee Fund. The clarification with the competent Greek authority may take place at the earliest 366 days after the departure from Switzerland. At the same time, the LOB Guarantee Fund checks whether other occupational benefit credit balances have been reported for the applicant person.

The Greek authority ascertains whether the person is subject to compulsory insurance. It communicates its findings in writing to the LOB Guarantee Fund, which in turn informs both the applicant and the occupational benefits scheme (pension fund or vested benefits foundation), also in writing, whether the compulsory portion of the credit balance may be paid out.

In the event of departure for a country with which there is no agreement on the verification of insurance requirements, the general application form for EU or EFTA countries must be submitted. The clarification with the competent social insurance authority takes place at the earliest 90 days following departure from Switzerland. At the same time, the LOB Guarantee Fund checks whether other occupational benefit credit balances have been reported for the applicant person.

The foreign social insurance authority verifies whether the person is subject to compulsory insurance. The outcome of that clarification is transmitted to the LOB Guarantee Fund, which in turn advises both the applicant person and the pension scheme concerned. If the person is not subject to the requirement of state insurance, the pension scheme may pay out the entire occupational benefit credit balance.

Which is your country of departure?

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Select the country of departure and the desired language.

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country":2,"link":null,"file":"https:\/\/sfbvg.ch\/fileadmin\/user_upload\/sfbvg\/SF.6_VS_Ausreise\/SF-F6-01DE-MB-DE.pdf"}]}

Select the country of departure and the desired language.

EU states:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Cepublic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

EFTA states:
Iceland, Norway, Principality of Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Tasks of the liaison office

The EU law embodied in the agreement on the freedom of movement of persons stipulates the existence of liaison offices for international contacts between the insurers and the institutions and individuals. The LOB Guarantee Fund is the liaison office for Switzerland in the range of occupational benefits.

As the liaison office, the LOB Guarantee Fund is able to communicate directly with the liaison offices abroad.

Persons and occupational benefit schemes can contact the foreign insurers either directly or via the Guarantee Fund. Similarly, foreign insurers or persons can directly contact the Swiss occupational benefit schemes or do so via the Guarantee Fund.

In cases where contact exists between an insurer and a person residing in a different country, communication will take place directly between the insurance scheme and the person concerned.