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Old 27.08.2007, 13:36
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Moving a pension to Switzerland

Hi,

Quick question ...

I have a few pensions in the UK and a pension out here, I want to move my UK ones to Switzerland, has anyone done this? how easy is it?? My Swiss pension is with SwissLife but they don't seem to know how I go about transferring my uk pots to them (or they didn't understand)

Any help appreciated

Thanks
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Old 27.08.2007, 13:40
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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Hi,

Quick question ...

I have a few pensions in the UK and a pension out here, I want to move my UK ones to Switzerland, has anyone done this? how easy is it?? My Swiss pension is with SwissLife but they don't seem to know how I go about transferring my uk pots to them (or they didn't understand)

Any help appreciated

Thanks
Ask your Swisslife fund for an international payment slip ie one that an international organisation can use and send this to your pension fund in the UK with a covering letter. They will either refuse to pay in on the grounds that you are not entitled to do this or make the payment if you are entitled.

There are specific rules attached to pension funds transfers and you need to provide a lot of specifics to determine if you are entitled to transfer and then need to check the pension fund in the UK as to whether they accept the provisions allowing transfers or not. The UK system is not quite as modern as the Swiss one in this respect...
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Old 27.08.2007, 13:43
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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Ask your Swisslife fund for an international payment slip ie one that an international organisation can use and send this to your pension fund in the UK with a covering letter. They will either refuse to pay in on the grounds that you are not entitled to do this or make the payment if you are entitled.

There are specific rules attached to pension funds transfers and you need to provide a lot of specifics to determine if you are entitled to transfer and then need to check the pension fund in the UK as to whether they accept the provisions allowing transfers or not. The UK system is not quite as modern as the Swiss one in this respect...

Thanks a lot, I'll get back on the phone to them
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:07
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

I also have the same problem myself, except that is an Irish pension. So, would appreciate if someone here can tell if I'm being correctly informed:

My current employer tells me it is not possible to simply transfer to my Swiss employer's 2nd pillar (with Swisscanto). Instead, I must withdraw amount from Irish pension and buy-in to my 2nd pillar. Not tax-efficient, so won't do that.

So, UBS and ZKB have advised that I can open another 2nd pillar account and transfer to that without problem. I just have to prove to them that they are pension assets.

In this process, I have been told that when purchasing property, one can only pledge an amount greater than 20k from a second pillar. Is this correct or are Swisscanto misleading me? Does this also apply to a 3rd pillar?

Finally, I read in a post from Richard (perhaps incorrectly), that one can pledge future value of pension with an appropriate insurance policy, but both UBS and ZKB have explicitly denied this is possible...
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:10
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

OK now I'm confused, whats 2nd / 3rd pillar etc

I am also transferring to hopefully purchase a house, so am I going about this the right way??
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:17
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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I also have the same problem myself, except that is an Irish pension. So, would appreciate if someone here can tell if I'm being correctly informed:

My current employer tells me it is not possible to simply transfer to my Swiss employer's 2nd pillar (with Swisscanto). Instead, I must withdraw amount from Irish pension and buy-in to my 2nd pillar. Not tax-efficient, so won't do that.

So, UBS and ZKB have advised that I can open another 2nd pillar account and transfer to that without problem. I just have to prove to them that they are pension assets.

In this process, I have been told that when purchasing property, one can only pledge an amount greater than 20k from a second pillar. Is this correct or are Swisscanto misleading me? Does this also apply to a 3rd pillar?

Finally, I read in a post from Richard (perhaps incorrectly), that one can pledge future value of pension with an appropriate insurance policy, but both UBS and ZKB have explicitly denied this is possible...
There is no legal minimum that I am aware of for the amouns you can transfer from a pension fund but each pension funds does indeed set such conditions. With mine it is 30K... 3rd pillar has no restriction.

You interest me that UBS and ZKB apparently know nothing about such schemes. I have had one with both of these banks... You need to ask about a Vorsorgehypothek. Note you can only have such a scheme with your 3rd pillar and not with only a 2nd pillar pension fund. This is down to the theory behind the model. Your second pillar is converted to a pension ie regular payments at age 65 and a maximum of 25% can be paid as a capital payment. The third pillar is however paid in full on retirement and the bank can thus place a claim on this.

If you are having difficulties with getting such a mortgage with ZKB let me know and I will put you in touch with someone at ZKB who can do this.
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:18
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

Basically:

2nd Pillar - Employment Pension Account
3rd Pillar - Voluntary Pension Contribution Account

They both function the same way more or less: tax-free contributions and capital gains, but restrictions on withdrawal. With your 3rd pillar, you can choose provider and how it is invested (from a limited and conservative set however).
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:35
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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There is no legal minimum that I am aware of for the amouns you can transfer from a pension fund but each pension funds does indeed set such conditions. With mine it is 30K... 3rd pillar has no restriction.

You interest me that UBS and ZKB apparently know nothing about such schemes. I have had one with both of these banks... You need to ask about a Vorsorgehypothek. Note you can only have such a scheme with your 3rd pillar and not with only a 2nd pillar pension fund. This is down to the theory behind the model. Your second pillar is converted to a pension ie regular payments at age 65 and a maximum of 25% can be paid as a capital payment. The third pillar is however paid in full on retirement and the bank can thus place a claim on this.

If you are having difficulties with getting such a mortgage with ZKB let me know and I will put you in touch with someone at ZKB who can do this.
Thanks for the prompt reply and the info. You're a goldmine of info as usual.

Please do put me in touch with your contact. My experience with UBS would be funny if not so frustrating: Even though it explicitly says it in their marketing material under the Fiscalife account that the future amount can be pledged, when I pointed this out, they tried to convince me otherwise! Here is the copy-paste from their brochure available on the internet to anyone (could it be any clearer?! Apparently not):

The dream of owning your own home
Buying your own home involves long-term financial decisions. UBS Fiscalife offers you the following advantages:
The sum insured can be pledged.
– The retirement savings (up to 90%) can be calculated as part of your personal equity (pledging instead of early withdrawal).
– Your annual contribution (savings component and insurance premium) can be included in the indirect amortization.
– In the event of an insured occurrence, the savings target (sum insured) will be paid out as a lump sum.

Last edited by pmacaodh; 27.08.2007 at 14:36. Reason: Left out an 'a' in a sentence.
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:40
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

So I should transfer my UK pots to my 3rd pillar swiss pension then?
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:45
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

I was advised that I must open a personal 2nd pillar account for transferring, because pension transfers are not allowed to 3rd pillars.

Nothing stopping you from opening both a 2nd and 3rd pillar though.
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:47
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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So I should transfer my UK pots to my 3rd pillar swiss pension then?
But what return will you get compared with your present arrangement ?
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:50
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

Ok, now I'm really confused, I spoke to a guy from AXA who said there is no such thing as a personal pension in swizerland, so I couldn't open a new pension myself, so the only thing I could do would be transfer my uk pots to my current employer opened pension (swisslife)

So are you saying there are personal type pension here?

I want to do this the easiest way possible! transfer my uk pension here, and buy a house, the pension companies in the uk are already putting obsticals in my way!
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Old 27.08.2007, 14:52
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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But what return will you get compared with your present arrangement ?

LOL if it doesn't lose £6k in a year it will be doing better then the UK
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:01
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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Ok, now I'm really confused, I spoke to a guy from AXA who said there is no such thing as a personal pension in swizerland, so I couldn't open a new pension myself, so the only thing I could do would be transfer my uk pots to my current employer opened pension (swisslife)

So are you saying there are personal type pension here?

I want to do this the easiest way possible! transfer my uk pension here, and buy a house, the pension companies in the uk are already putting obsticals in my way!
Oh dear, I see you are confused. A ten second summary.

1st Pillar - AHV the state scheme
2nd pillar - BVG the company scheme
3rd pillar - An additional private scheme.

The 2nd and 3rd pillars are personal pensions, but... The 2nd pillar is run by your employer who must provide this and the 3rd pillar is run by a fund that you can choose and indeed change every year. The 2nd pillar is linked to your income directly. The 3rd pillar is only restricted by an upper limit above which you cannot contribute. This is currently SFr. 6365 for employed people only. Self employed have different rules allowing up to SFr. 31824 to be paid IF they have no 2nd pillar.

For further information search the forum there is plenty written.
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:07
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

third pillar in the UK would IIRC be called AVCs. Advanced Voluntary Contributions....if that rings any bells.

At least I learned something when working at a L&P company all those years ago
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:08
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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Ok, now I'm really confused, I spoke to a guy from AXA who said there is no such thing as a personal pension in swizerland, so I couldn't open a new pension myself, so the only thing I could do would be transfer my uk pots to my current employer opened pension (swisslife)

So are you saying there are personal type pension here?

I want to do this the easiest way possible! transfer my uk pension here, and buy a house, the pension companies in the uk are already putting obsticals in my way!
A point worth checking is if the UK companies can legally release the funds. There are so many regulations it could be that it's not possible to do.
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:21
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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Oh dear, I see you are confused. A ten second summary.

1st Pillar - AHV the state scheme
2nd pillar - BVG the company scheme
3rd pillar - An additional private scheme.

The 2nd and 3rd pillars are personal pensions, but... The 2nd pillar is run by your employer who must provide this and the 3rd pillar is run by a fund that you can choose and indeed change every year. The 2nd pillar is linked to your income directly. The 3rd pillar is only restricted by an upper limit above which you cannot contribute. This is currently SFr. 6365 for employed people only. Self employed have different rules allowing up to SFr. 31824 to be paid IF they have no 2nd pillar.

For further information search the forum there is plenty writen.
thanks but to be honest I have no idea what I am looking for

In my stupidity I thought it would be simple, fill in transfer forms from the uk pensions to the swiss pension, then use pension to buy house.
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:23
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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A point worth checking is if the UK companies can legally release the funds. There are so many regulations it could be that it's not possible to do.

From what I can gather from the UK Gov website, they can transfer to swiss pensions. SwissLife are sending me the payment slips, I'm going to fill them in along with the transfer forms and see what happens
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:44
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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third pillar in the UK would IIRC be called AVCs. Advanced Voluntary Contributions....if that rings any bells.

At least I learned something when working at a L&P company all those years ago
I think you will find it is not additional voluntary contributions but FSAVC as in Free Standing AVC which is more the 3rd pillar here. AVC is usually attached in some way to the company pension scheme
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Old 27.08.2007, 15:47
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Re: Moving a pension to Switzerland

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From what I can gather from the UK Gov website, they can transfer to swiss pensions. SwissLife are sending me the payment slips, I'm going to fill them in along with the transfer forms and see what happens
While you are right you might be wrong What I mean is although it is possible to transfer pension contributions to another pension fund within EFTA it is not a requirement of the issuing pension fund to allow such transfers but I would guess that most major pension fund providers will have taken this into account.
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