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Ratgeber Private Vorsorge: Säule 3b

Pillar 3b. Flexible pension provision.

Key points at a glance
Pillar 3b is part of Switzerland’s system of private pension provision. While not as tax-privileged as pillar 3a, it is a more flexible way of providing for retirement and also serves to reach medium-term savings goals. That’s why it’s called flexible pension provision.

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 3b?

Pillar 3b is part of Switzerland’s system of private pension provision and is also referred to as flexible pension provision. The pillar-3b pension solutions are flexible and can be easily adapted to meet your precise requirements and savings goals. The contract terms and benefits are freely selectable, making them an ideal fit for pillar-3a products.

What are the advantages of pillar 3b?

Tax advantages on payout

Unlike pillar-3a contributions, payments into pillar 3b are not tax-deductible. But 3b payouts are generally tax-free.

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.

High degree of flexibility

You decide how much you want to pay into pillar 3b each year and for how long. The ability to make additional payments, adjust your premium or even pause your payments for a while makes for even greater flexibility.

Financial freedom in retirement

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

Who can pay into pillar 3b?

Anybody, irrespective of occupation and place of residence, can make pillar-3b payments. Restrictions are possible depending on each company’s acceptance guidelines.

When can I make payments to pillar 3b?

As a general rule, at any time. The law imposes no restrictions.

How much can I pay into pillar 3b?

The amount you can pay in is not fixed. Restrictions are possible depending on the statutory requirements.

Good to know

How much tax can I save each year by paying into pillar 3b?

There are no dedicated tax incentives from the federal government for pillar-3b payments. But this form of pension provision offers a high level of flexibility. Tax savings are possible with wealth tax, as you only need to declare a 3b insurance solution’s surrender value in your tax return during the contract term.

When can I access my pillar-3b assets?

As a general rule, at any time.

  • This applies without exception to 3b fund accounts and dedicated savings solutions.
  • Life insurance products are paid out on maturity or on a defined date.
  • You can pledge an insurance policy as security.
  • A life insurance policy can also be surrendered, although that usually incurs losses.
  • Alternatively, you can borrow money against it if you need funds quickly.

What taxes are levied on payouts?

Capital payments under 3b insurance solutions with annual premiums are generally tax-free. Payouts under single-premium insurance solutions are tax-free provided:

  • the policyholder has reached age 60 at the time of the payout and
  • the contract was concluded before reaching age 66 and
  • the payout is made after a contract term of at least five years and
  • the policyholder and the insured are one and the same person.

How big are your pension gaps?

Calculate your pension gaps now, quickly and easily, and read about how you can close them.

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.

Brigitte W. (42), Basel

I’m not working. Can I still make use of pillar 3b?

Of course you can. Anyone can make provision for their retirement with pillar 3b, because you do not need to have income subject to OASI contributions to use it. That is why flexible pension provision is also an interesting proposition for those who are not gainfully employed. To the extent your household budget permits, you can use pillar 3b to provide for a spouse or partner who is caring for children instead of pursuing employment. It could be used, for example, to cover the eventuality of that person becoming disabled.


Jan Misurati

Customer Advisor

Matthias E. (32), Lausanne

Can I pay into pillar 3a and pillar 3b simultaneously?

It is even advisable to do so. For example, you can use pillar 3a to save for your retirement and pocket the tax breaks or make indirect use of it to pay off the mortgage on your home. And you can supplement that with a pillar-3b product such as whole life insurance to cover any additional financial obligations.


Adriano Signorello

Customer Advisor

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