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Old 02.07.2015, 20:45
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Retirement Pension

I lived in Switzerland for about 7 years before returning to the UK. I paid lots of pension contributions during that time and I am told that on retiring I would be eligible for a (basic) Swiss pension, even though I'm not resident any more. Is that so? If yes, how on earth do I go about claiming it??
Thanks for any advice!
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Old 02.07.2015, 20:53
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Re: Retirement Pension

You could start here, and then ask more specific questions. Are you now in the UK or the USA? It makes a difference.

Swiss pensions consolidated summary
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Old 02.07.2015, 23:36
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Re: Retirement Pension

Not an easy answer. I have dual US/UK citizenship. I haven't yet decided if I'll retire in the US, UK or somewhere else.
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Old 08.09.2015, 14:09
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Re: Retirement Pension

u can take out non-mandatory part early but the mandatory and government ones only upon retirement w u.k. passport. u.s. is complicated. u shud check w accountant about tax issues.
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:03
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Re: Retirement Pension

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u can take out non-mandatory part early but the mandatory and government ones only upon retirement w u.k. passport. u.s. is complicated. u shud check w accountant about tax issues.
What complete nonsense, if you leave for the UK you can take your entire pillar 2 as cash.

The OP will get his Swiss OAP pension by claiming it in the UK, in addition to any UK old age pension.
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:10
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Re: Retirement Pension

the mandatory part is probably pillar three.. HR just nicknamed it mandatory part which can be taken out only if u leave EU (UK included).. so if u move to u.k., u cannot take out this part. but its very small compared to ur regular company pension. trust me.. we just had a desk move to London from Zurich.... the only part u can take out is the company pension which is the largest of the pensions.
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:17
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Re: Retirement Pension

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the mandatory part is probably pillar three.. HR just nicknamed it mandatory part which can be taken out only if u leave EU (UK included).. so if u move to u.k., u cannot take out this part. but its very small compared to ur regular company pension. trust me.. we just had a desk move to London from Zurich.... the only part u can take out is the company pension which is the largest of the pensions.
Trust me, you & your HR are wrong. It depends on if compulsory insurance is required in the UK, it's not required, same for many countries so can be taken as 100% cash.

Pillar 3 is something else.

I have left CH to live in the EU & I took my entire pension as cash aged 53.
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:23
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Re: Retirement Pension

yes so I guess the part u took out is pillar 2. pillar 3 is the mandatory part which cannot be taken out.. like pillar 1 unless u r not an EU/UK resident and ur country has no pension agreement w Switzerland. However pillar 3 is ur own contribution, so the whole amount can be withdrawn and u only pay small tax at withdrawal. But my accountant told me that only a very small portion of pillar 1 will be refunded and not sure about taxes.
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:35
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Re: Retirement Pension

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yes so I guess the part u took out is pillar 2. pillar 3 is the mandatory part which cannot be taken out.. like pillar 1 unless u r not an EU/UK resident and ur country has no pension agreement w Switzerland. However pillar 3 is ur own contribution, so the whole amount can be withdrawn and u only pay small tax at withdrawal. But my accountant told me that only a very small portion of pillar 1 will be refunded and not sure about taxes.
Your talking absolute rubbish, you are very ill informed.

I took my entire pillar 2, both mandatory & non mandatory. I do not have & have never had a Pillar 3 which is an additional voluntary contribution.

There will be taxation consequences by going to the UK as likely you will pay more UK tax in additional to the Swiss withholding tax than was ever saved on the contributions as 90% of the lump sum is taxable in the UK.

I chose my EU country very carefully so I could take the ENTIRE pension contribution & pay very little tax.

My pillar 1 will be paid as a pension, I paid in over 20 years.

Edit, I even started a thread after I successfully did this as there is so much FUD on the issue.

Leaving to live in the EU & cashing in a Swiss Pension
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:44
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Re: Retirement Pension

ok. u guys better check w ur HR then.. I am not going to u.k. so I can take everything out. but I know that my colleagues going to u.k. cannot take out mandatory part (whatever that is officially called). the people who took out non-mandatory part claimed that they only have to pay a very small swiss withholding tax (depending on ur gemeinde) and they did not have to pay u.k. tax (that's why they took the money out).
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Old 08.09.2015, 18:51
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Re: Retirement Pension

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ok. u guys better check w ur HR then.. I am not going to u.k. so I can take everything out. but I know that my colleagues going to u.k. cannot take out mandatory part (whatever that is officially called). the people who took out non-mandatory part claimed that they only have to pay a very small swiss withholding tax (depending on ur gemeinde) and they did not have to pay u.k. tax (that's why they took the money out).
I don't need to check with my HR, I have left CH to live in the EU & have taken 100% Cash.

People going to the UK can take 100%, your HR is incorrect.

They will however have ADDITIONAL UK tax to pay on their non mandatory part they took, because they will be UK residents when they get the money. This needs to be declared on their tax return. UK taxes are self assessment, the fines & interest are huge so it's important they regularise the matter.

The Swiss withholding tax is dependant on the canton the pension fund was held, it has nothing to do with the geminde or canton you lived in. .
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Old 08.09.2015, 19:04
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Re: Retirement Pension

Permanent departure from Switzerland

You may draw on your pension if you can prove that you are leaving Switzerland permanently to settle abroad.


Payout of the pension fund to persons moving to an EU / EFTA member state

Anyone leaving Switzerland to settle in an EU/EFTA member state, may generally not cash in their pension from the compulsory pension plan as persons in the new country of domicile are insured by law to receive old age, survivors' and invalidity benefits. The mandatory portion of your pension assets must therefore remain in a blocked account (vested benefits account or policy) in Switzerland and can only be paid out when you reach retirement age. The extra-mandatory portion of your pension, however, may be paid out in cash. The mandatory and extra-mandatory portions of your pension are listed on the personal insurance certificate under the heading ‘Retirement provision information’.


What you need to do

Contact the pension fund you paid into with your last employer or the vested benefits institution where you have an account or a policy. Notify them of your departure from Switzerland and provide them with the necessary documents.

https://www.ch.ch/en/withdraw-pension-early
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Old 08.09.2015, 19:08
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Re: Retirement Pension

This is a very misleading translation. I have highlighted the magic words. "May generally not", does not mean can't!

It's dependant on if compulsory insurance is required in the new country, if it's not which is the case in the UK then a FULL payout is possible. TBH I don't know where other than CH where the insurance is compulsory!

The Swiss LOB guarantee fund administer the release of pensions to people moving to the EU. It's possible in many countries.

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Permanent departure from Switzerland

You may draw on your pension if you can prove that you are leaving Switzerland permanently to settle abroad.


Payout of the pension fund to persons moving to an EU / EFTA member state

Anyone leaving Switzerland to settle in an EU/EFTA member state, may generally not cash in their pension from the compulsory pension plan as persons in the new country of domicile are insured by law to receive old age, survivors' and invalidity benefits The mandatory portion of your pension assets must therefore remain in a blocked account (vested benefits account or policy) in Switzerland and can only be paid out when you reach retirement age. The extra-mandatory portion of your pension, however, may be paid out in cash. The mandatory and extra-mandatory portions of your pension are listed on the personal insurance certificate under the heading ‘Retirement provision information’.




What you need to do

Contact the pension fund you paid into with your last employer or the vested benefits institution where you have an account or a policy. Notify them of your departure from Switzerland and provide them with the necessary documents.

https://www.ch.ch/en/withdraw-pension-early

Last edited by fatmanfilms; 08.09.2015 at 19:47. Reason: Highlighting bad translation
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Old 08.09.2015, 20:06
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Re: Retirement Pension

FMF, you made this claim a few times already (that insurance is not mandatory in the UK), but have never backed it up as far as I can find.

Can you answer

a) when you got your 100%, was your country of departure to UK ? or were you assessed for Malta (or wherever you went) ?

b) does this quote from the reference you linked in the other thread mean to you that insurance is not mandatory for all people in the UK, or does it imply it MIGHT be mandatory depending on your situation: "This competent office in the United Kingdom will, taking account of the required waiting period of 120 days after departure from Switzerland , check whether the applicant is subject to compulsory pensions insurance, and will inform the LOB Guarantee Fund in written form of the result"

It would be great to clear this up once and for all, with clear unambiguous information.

Thanks
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Old 08.09.2015, 21:07
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Re: Retirement Pension

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This is a very misleading translation. I have highlighted the magic words. "May generally not", does not mean can't!

It's dependant on if compulsory insurance is required in the new country, if it's not which is the case in the UK then a FULL payout is possible. TBH I don't know where other than CH where the insurance is compulsory!

The Swiss LOB guarantee fund administer the release of pensions to people moving to the EU. It's possible in many countries.
Neither I nor the Swiss government say that fatmanfilms. It's quite clear that "may generally not" doesn't mean "absolutely not". I can only quote what they've put on their official website. If the translation's bad, complain to them about it, not me.

You said yourself you chose your EU country "very carefully" so there must be some EU countries you found where there's compulsory insurance - otherwise you wouldn't have needed to be so careful with your choice.

Whether the Swiss would consider the UK State pension the same as compulsory insurance I don't know.

From the LOB website:

http://www.sfbvg.ch/xml_3/internet/E...on/d51/f62.cfm

Dunroamin, contact your employer's pension provider here in Switzerland to find out how to go about getting your pension funds. If you decide to stay in the UK then fill in the UK form on the LOB website to see if you can get it in the UK. If you go elsewhere then either fill in the relevant form or contact LOB for further info.
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Old 08.09.2015, 21:30
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Re: Retirement Pension

very interesting thread. thank you for posting

what would permanently mean in terms of this pension?

Is there a standard that would say for example 10 years is long enough or would you need to reverse funds if you would decide to return to CH?

permanent is a long time...
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Old 08.09.2015, 22:36
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Re: Retirement Pension

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Neither I nor the Swiss government say that fatmanfilms. It's quite clear that "may generally not" doesn't mean "absolutely not". I can only quote what they've put on their official website. If the translation's bad, complain to them about it, not me.

You said yourself you chose your EU country "very carefully" so there must be some EU countries you found where there's compulsory insurance - otherwise you wouldn't have needed to be so careful with your choice.

Whether the Swiss would consider the UK State pension the same as compulsory insurance I don't know.

From the LOB website:

http://www.sfbvg.ch/xml_3/internet/E...on/d51/f62.cfm

Dunroamin, contact your employer's pension provider here in Switzerland to find out how to go about getting your pension funds. If you decide to stay in the UK then fill in the UK form on the LOB website to see if you can get it in the UK. If you go elsewhere then either fill in the relevant form or contact LOB for further info.
I don't need to complain to anyone, I looked at what the rules actually were & got my money.

'Generally not possible' is the situation in CH, if your self employed there is no requirement to be insured so you can cash in 100% of your pension fund.

The UK does not mandate a minimum amount of private pensions that have to be paid for every employee over 25 years of age unlike Switzerland. So the UK does not require insurance for this.

I only investigated this matter after someone leaving for the UK claimed they had successfully had 100% of Pillar paid out in cash. Everybody else was saying it's not possible.

My Swiss pension provider told me in writing it was not possible to withdraw the mandatory part because I was leaving for an EU country, that was in March 2015... The offered to refund the non mandatory which they know about

I filled in the form & sent it to Bern. A month later they asked for a copy of my leaving certificate, I sent a copy. A few weeks later I got a letter saying there was no compulsory insurance requirement & I could take the full pension as cash. I emailed my pension provider & they confirmed they had been informed they could release the money. I then had to prove that I was registered at my local geminde (non existent) & prove that I was not married. I got a letter confirming that I appeared not to have got married since leaving CH

Shortly after I got an SMS from post finance telling me I had a huge deposit paid into my account THE END

BTW several people have been asking me about this over the last 18 months, successful payouts have been made to people who left for France & UK.

To be 100% sure that I would not have any additional tax liability I chose to move to Malta, which only taxes non domiciled residents (a UK Concept) on income earned in Malta or remitted to Malta, rather than world wide earnings.
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Old 08.09.2015, 22:48
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Re: Retirement Pension

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FMF, you made this claim a few times already (that insurance is not mandatory in the UK), but have never backed it up as far as I can find.

Can you answer

a) when you got your 100%, was your country of departure to UK ? or were you assessed for Malta (or wherever you went) ?

b) does this quote from the reference you linked in the other thread mean to you that insurance is not mandatory for all people in the UK, or does it imply it MIGHT be mandatory depending on your situation: "This competent office in the United Kingdom will, taking account of the required waiting period of 120 days after departure from Switzerland , check whether the applicant is subject to compulsory pensions insurance, and will inform the LOB Guarantee Fund in written form of the result"

It would be great to clear this up once and for all, with clear unambiguous information.

Thanks
It's impossible to back up a negative, which is why I never have.

I left for Malta, however I do know someone who has successfully cashed in leaving for the UK, which is why I researched the matter in the first place. I had previously believed the BS.

Switzerland will always give an ambiguous answer as they don't want to ever make a mistake. Nobody ever get fired in CH saying 'No, it can't be done.'

Perhaps I should just set up a consultancy charging 5% of any funds successfully released, as everyone says it's impossible 5% would seem like a bargain!
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Old 08.09.2015, 23:26
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Re: Retirement Pension

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very interesting thread. thank you for posting

what would permanently mean in terms of this pension?

Is there a standard that would say for example 10 years is long enough or would you need to reverse funds if you would decide to return to CH?

permanent is a long time...
Sorry I missed that.

Leaving Permanently, means leaving & not putting your resident permit on hold. When I deregistered I was asked if I wanted to put the permit on hold for 6 months, I said no, I did not intend returning.

Nothing to stop me from returning to CH at any time if I want to.
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Old 09.09.2015, 08:23
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Re: Retirement Pension

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Sorry I missed that.

Leaving Permanently, means leaving & not putting your resident permit on hold. When I deregistered I was asked if I wanted to put the permit on hold for 6 months, I said no, I did not intend returning.

Nothing to stop me from returning to CH at any time if I want to.
But would you then need to pay the money back into your Swiss pension again? Or does it start afresh?
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