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Ratgeber Private Vorsorge: Säule 3a

Pillar 3a. Tied pension provision.

Key points at a glance
Pillar 3a is part of Switzerland’s private pension system, also known as as tied pension provision, as it is subject to clear statutory regulations. The main purpose of pillar 3a is to make provision for old age. The annual contributions are tax-deductible.

Why is the third pillar important?

Even if you have always paid your OASI contributions in full and always been insured in a pension fund through your employer, you can expect to receive only 60% of your final salary as pension income. That means the third pillar is an essential way of supplementing your OASI and pension fund benefits in line with your needs.

What is pillar 3a?

Pillar 3a, also referred to as tied pension provision, is part of Switzerland’s system of private pension provision. Its main purpose is to provide for old age, and it supplements the benefits paid by the state pension schemes (OASI/IV) and occupational pension schemes (pension funds).

Pillar 3a is subject to clear statutory conditions. Among other things, the federal government sets a maximum annual amount that can be invested.

Payments to pillar 3a are voluntary, but highly recommended. By contributing, you benefit from tax incentives, in that your annual payments can be deducted from your taxable income.

What are the advantages of pillar 3a?

Save tax

Annual payments up to a fixed maximum amount can be deducted from taxable income.

Achieve your savings goal with certainty

Thanks to fixed regular payments and a premium waiver in the event of incapacity to earn, you are certain to reach your savings goal.

Advance withdrawals

Pillar 3a funds can be withdrawn early, for instance, to purchase residential property or to ease your path to self-employment.

Financial freedom in retirement

By paying into pillar 3a, you can systematically plug any gaps in your pension cover.


You are free to choose how much you invest each year, up to the fixed maximum amount. The ability to make additional payments, adjust your premium or even pause your payments for a while makes for even greater flexibility.

Who can pay into pillar 3a?

Anyone gainfully employed in Switzerland with income subject to OASI contributions (employees and the self-employed) can make provision for their retirement via pillar 3a.

When can I make payments to pillar 3a?

Any time you like. However, your annual contribution must reach the recipient by no later than 31 December of any year in order to qualify for deduction from your income tax the following year.

Pillar 3a maximum amount for 2023

The Federal Council periodically sets a maximum annual contribution for pillar 3a.

  • Gainfully employed persons in a pension fund: max. CHF 7,056
  • Gainfully employed persons not in a pension fund: max. CHF 35,280, but no more than 20% of net earned income

How much tax can I save each year?

The amount you pay into a pillar-3a product in any year can be deducted from your taxable income (3a tax deduction) in the tax return you lodge the following year. Calculate your tax savings right now.

When are pillar-3a funds disbursed?

You can draw your retirement benefits at the earliest five years before reaching OASI retirement age.

When are advance withdrawals possible?

Owing to the federal government’s tax incentives, advance withdrawals are possible in certain cases only.

  • If you purchase pension fund benefits
  • If you leave Switzerland for good
  • If you become self-employed
  • If you begin drawing a full IV pension
  • If you purchase owner-occupied residential property or pay off a mortgage

What taxes are levied on payouts?

Capital payments are taxed once only, separately from your other income and at a reduced rate that differs from canton to canton. Please consult the tax office in the canton where you reside.

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What others wanted to know

Our customer advisors can provide answers to selected FAQs. Just tell us what you want to know. We will be happy to help you.

Melina S. (25), Aarau

Does it make sense to have several 3a pension solutions or accounts?

Absolutely! Because you can already receive a payout five years before you reach OASI retirement age. However, a 3a pension solution or account must always be paid out in full. To avoid moving into a higher tax bracket and paying more tax, it makes sense not to have several different 3a solutions paid out at once. That way you won’t have to tax the entire amount in one go. Although most tax jurisdictions allow you to have several 3a pension solutions, it is worth checking with your cantonal tax office so that you can plan your payouts better.


Simon Paul

Sales Manager

Pascal T. (61), Kloten

Can I continue using pillar 3a after I retire?

As long as you are working and earning income that is subject to OASI contributions, you can continue to make annual payments into pillar 3a after reaching OASI retirement age and thus continue to save tax. Many 3a pension solutions and 3a accounts allow you to do this easily. But 70 is the cut-off age. Once you reach that age, you can no longer make any pillar-3a payments. Remember, too, to draw your 3a assets successively to avoid being placed in a higher tax bracket.


Ilaria Grazia Laneve

Customer Advisor

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