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Old 01.12.2009, 21:21
agent_bacon agent_bacon is offline
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

Hi everybody:

This is my first post on these forums, I do hope you'll be able to help me.

I have been trying (with not very much success so far, it must be said), to transfer the pension I accumulated when i worked in Geneva for 9 months, over to the UK, where I have now gone back to live.

I will try to put all the facts down as clearly as possible to make it easy for people who can help me:

- I worked for Adecco on-site at a big company as an IT contractor. Adecco would bill the client and then pay me.
- I'm really vague on what pillar 2 and 3 pensions are - what the difference is. is pillar 2 the company scheme, and pillar 3 personal provision? If you didn't opt into the company pension presumably you'd just have pillar 1 - state provision, and pillar 3?
- My pension that Adecco set up for me is described in my statement that they sent me after leaving is "LPP" which I think is personal pension - so is that pillar 3?
- The documents they sent me after leaving are all in French, which I only have a working knowledge of, and certainly would have no idea what the financial terms mean. "Votre prestation de libre passage au 01.03.2009 ... 14'079.45" - this is in bold in my statement summary - so does that mean that is my accumulated fund free of the critical illness cover etc?
- Date of this statement is 17th April 2009, and it says that if they don't hear from me after 180 days (I can translate that much ...) "nous verserons votre prestation de libre passage a l'institution suppletive LPP (art. 60 LPP)"
- That sounds ominous, but I did 'phone Adecco before 180 days were up and she said there was no rush (I can remember what she said that phrase above meant).
- I mentioned to the woman I spoke to at Adecco that I would like to transfer the pension into the UK, but into a bank account because I am saving for a house deposit and I really need that money for a deposit. She said the way to do that was to transfer the pension fund to a blocked account in Switzerland and then do an international transfer. But if I were to do that, it could only be done for pension funds of CHF 20,000.
- I just recently 'phoned UBS who I used to bank with and they told me this was wrong. That I should be able to transfer the pension into a UK bank a/c (because unlike in Switzerland, you can't take part of pension as cash advance to use as deposit for primary residence), and that there was no good reason to insist on a ceiling of CHF 20K. They said all I needed was a letter from a notary to say what i would use the funds for, and I should then pressure Adecco to transfer the money.

I'm thinking that before I contact Adecco again I should get all possible documents together. Not only a letter from a notary but also some sort of confirmation that Swiss law allows for a transfer of this nature.

I've had a difficult year, what with being unemployed for 6 months of it, and now I'm in a position to chase this bloody problem down, but it's so frustrating. It's my money, why do I have to jump through so many hoops to get at it?

To summarise:
- money from Swiss pension into UK bank a/c for housing deposit = success
- money from Swiss pension into UK PP = failure.

Can someone please help, I just feel so helpless with this thing.

Many many many thanks

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