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Part 1: Systematically make up for shortfalls in the OASI pension

What contributions can you make to OASI, the occupational pension fund and the 3rd pillar? If you’re in the know, you can systematically make up for shortfalls and optimize your retirement benefits.

26 May 2021, text: Martin Hügin, photo: iStock

In Switzerland, provision for retirement is based on three pillars: Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance (OASI), Occupational Old-Age, Survivors’ and Disability Benefit Plans (LOB) (referred to colloquially as the “pension funds”), and voluntary private pension provision (3rd pillar). The benefits provided by these three pillars are the main factors in determining the funds available to you in retirement. That’s why it’s worthwhile knowing where you have to pay which contributions and where have you the option of doing so. This three-part series contains the key facts.

OASI – the 1st pillar

Everyone living in Switzerland – and that includes cross-border commuters who work here – has to pay OASI contributions. The OASI pension is financed through contributions to OASI that comprise employee salary deductions which are matched by the employer. As a general rule, a full OASI pension is granted to anyone who pays contributions without interruption from age 20 until ordinary retirement age. If any years of contributions are missing, the pension is reduced. For this reason, it is especially important for students and those who are not gainfully employed to register with the OASI compensation fund as early as possible and to start paying the minimum annual contribution. Missing years of contributions can be paid retrospectively, but only up to five years later.

Good to know

  • Minimum OASI contribution 2021: CHF 503 p.a.
  • Voluntary OASI payments: Only permitted for missing years of contributions and only possible up to five years after the year in question.
  • Min./max. annual OASI pension 2021: CHF 14,340 / CHF 28,680 (up to CHF 43,020 for married couples)
  • Early drawing of OASI pension: Possible up to two years prior to ordinary retirement age, subject to a reduction of -6.8% for each year earlier.
  • Postponement of OASI pension: Possible up to five years after ordinary retirement age, with corresponding pension increase.

Swiss Federal Statistical Office – facts & figures

In 2019, the average OASI pension for new pensioners was just CHF 1,786 per month. Click here for further information on this topic.

Helvetia Vorsorgecheck
How large is your pension gap?
In the event of death, OASI benefits and your pension fund would cover only part of the financial requirements. You can close this gap with whole life insurance.