At Work in Geneva

Pension plans in Geneva

Home > Expat Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Geneva

The Swiss pension system is based on a retirement allowance called AVS (Assurance Vieillesse et Survivants - old age and survival insurance) that compensate in certain conditions the standard of living of people who stopped working. It is managed by the Caisse cantonale genevoise de compensation. You will find the list of additional organisations for pensions by profession on the Internet website of the AVS-AI institution.

The right to retirement starts the first day of the month following the employee reaching the legal age of retirement, until his/her death. For men, the legal age for retirement is 65; for women it is 64.

It is mandatory to be insured at the AVS for:

  • people who work in Switzerland (cross-border employees and foreign nationals included);
  • other people with their residence in Switzerland, i.e. children and people with no professional activity (students, disabled people, housewives, etc).

Swiss citizens abroad have also the option to be insured, in order to avoid a pension reduction for lack of contributions. Swiss embassies and consulates will give you the necessary information.

The AVS system is aimed to cover the needs of the people insured. However when this allowance is not sufficiant, the person can subscribe an additional cover (prestations complémentaires - PC).

If you leave Switzerland and get the AVS/AI pension, you will receive that amount abroad (for countries with social security agreements with Switzerland). But additional allowances won't be paid. Do not forget to give your address abroad to the caisse suisse de compensation (CSC), in Geneva. When there is no social security agreement, you can ask your AVS contributions to be paid as a lump sum.

The social security, based on the system of three pillars (see our article on social security), offer the possibility to subscribe to other private instruments of insurance.

This additional insurance allows you to get tax advantages as the amounts that you ar paying for the third pillar may be deducted from your income (up to the limit).

Funds are locked. You can only make the sums available in specific circumstances:

  • you are leaving Switzerland,
  • you buy accommodation as your main residence,
  • you chamge from an employee to a self-employed worker,
  • you are registered 100% disabled.

You will find a lot of other information on the SwissLife website.

Update 31/10/2005


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Switzerland and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about pension plans in Geneva, at work.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).