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Old 03.03.2011, 08:03
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Re: can 3a pillar be useful in this case? + other questions (eu citizen)

I believe withdrawal of pillar 2 as cash for EU citizens is possible only for any amount you have which is in excess of the BVG coordinated amount. Any 'mandatory' element must be transferred to your new pension arrangements outside of Switzerland. You need to discuss the details with you pension provider or read your pension statements and understand what this difference may be. There will be a tax charge made for any withdrawal, which your cantonal tax authority can provide information about. For Zurich tax residents you can find information here : using the "Kapitalleistungen aus Vorsorge" link. Note that there is a small federal tax charge in addition to the cantonal one (a separate calculator is provided for this at that link). The larger tax rate is dependent on your canton and gemeinde (local area) where you live as registered for taxation. I believe if you withdraw after leaving Switzerland the appropriate taxation is according to the registered address of the Stiftung (trust) which is holding your benefits at the time of withdrawal. When I last looked I think the taxation appears to be based on calculating what the income tax rate would be if your only income was 1/10th of the amount withdrawn. This rate is then multiplied by the full amount withdrawn. This calculation can be revised from time to time by the Canton.

I believe pillar 3 can be fully withdrawn as cash when you leave Switzerland. The amount withdrawn would be taxed as in the above.

For pillar 3 your employer is not involved. You open the account by walking into a bank with appropriate paperwork (e.g. passport, residency permit). Once opened, you pay money in (from your bank account i.e. normal taxed earnings) up to the limit for that year (currently about 6500sfr). If you wish to claim back the tax you need to file some paperwork with the tax authority, either a full tax return accompanied by an end-of-year certificate from the pillar3 fund, or I believe some simpler form is available for people who wouldn't normally be required to file a full tax return.
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