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AV2020: Decision for the Future

On 24 September 2017, Switzerland will decide on the future of its pension scheme. There is much at stake, especially for the younger generation.

13 September 2017, text: Samuel Wernli, video: Focus Format, graphic: Die Gestalter AG

Samuel Wernli in front of the Bundeshaus in Bern.
Samuel Wernli, Head of Public Affairs at Helvetia, spoke with Helvetia Stories about current political topics.

On 24 September 2017, Swiss voters will vote on a reform known as Pension Scheme 2020 (Altersvorsorge 2020 or AV2020). This pension scheme reform and its increase to VAT could end a 20-year period of inaction on reforms. The Swiss pension scheme, for many years considered a model one, is currently facing severe difficulties. The reform is intended to stabilise the system over the medium term, or at least in the short-term future.

Pension? It will be quite some time before I will be getting one, young people might think. Yet they trust that they will have enough to live off once they retire by combining AHV and the pension fund scheme with their individual retirement fund as a third source of income. But this is far from clear. For precisely this reason, young people have to vote on this issue. The young generation now has a chance to decide how to fix the Swiss pension system.

At a podium discussion, we asked young people what they think about the current reform. Here’s what they said:

So that young voters can be better informed about the causes and consequences of the upcoming vote, a team of students at the Institute for the Insurance Industry at St. Gallen University (Institut für Versicherungswirtschaft der Universität St. Gallen) have developed a Web app with simple, clear, and neutral descriptions of the content and proposed solutions of AV2020.

Helvetia has compiled simple graphics to illustrate the current situation and core elements of AV2020. Full disclosure: Helvetia supports reform AV2020 taken as a whole. The reasons for this are explained by Donald Desax, Head of Employment Pensions and member of the Executive Board, in an interview. In a nutshell: better this reform than none at all, since it will give us time to take additional steps to develop a sustainable Swiss pension scheme that will serve young people in our country.

This is why it’s important that citizens who are able to vote take this responsibility seriously and contribute to this decision-making process – especially the young generation, since it affects their future above all others.

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