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Old 08.07.2018, 18:14
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Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

Sorry people, a long post, but Iíd really appreciate the benefit of your experience. and any advice available re my current situation, and a decision I need to make. An answer to even one of the questions at the bottom, or a general comment, would be great. Or if you know an expert adviser, that would be good too. Thanks in advance.

Background:
  • C Permit holder, in CH nearly 10 years, working for the same company. I've exactly 4 1/2 years to go until official retirement age.
  • At end of 2018, my department relocates from Zurich to Bern. We have the choice of relocating to the new place OR accepting a redundancy package. Iíll probably take redundancy as Iím very bored with the job and donít fancy the hassle of relocation. Itís not over-generous, but would tide me over for a while, plus of course thereís the RAV. At my age, thereís not a good chance of finding another similar position in Switzerland but I reckon I could get by with a bit of freelancing.
The Complication:
  • I've been offered an opportunity to join a reputable consultancy firm back in the UK. I know the guys, and itís not a rip-off.
  • Work would be on a contract basis, and would allow me to work flexibly ó probably between 10 and 15 days per month. Their small team of contractor-consultants operate as limited companies.
  • Daily rates are about 700 UKP (920 CHF)to me before tax. This is about 50% more than I get at present as a salary in CH (based on actual days worked).
  • CH residency is no problem for them and I can work remotely as much as I want, with the clientís approval. But Iíd be in the UK enough to mean Iíd be classed as UK-resident for tax purposes.
The Dilemma:

Should I take the UK opportunity or not? I can see benefits and downsides to both options. To help decide, Iím trying to find answers to these questions, which is where I would value the experience and knowledge of the forum:

Tax / pension etc:
  1. Iíll be liable for UK tax as a UK limited company. Will the Swiss authorities be OK with this, as long as I can demonstrate ongoing financial self-sufficiency while living here?
  2. Does the double taxation agreement between UK and CH mean I won't pay CH tax on these earnings?
  3. The UK contract means higher earnings but I'll lose some of the safeguards of a salary + the pension contributions, employment insurance etc. Am I still able to make voluntary contributions to maintain my Pillar 1 state pension or is it forever frozen at current level if I'm self-employed?
  4. Am I able to top up Pillar 2 pension voluntarily?
  5. Self-employment doesn't give RAV-style protection, but is there any way of buying this protection through special contributions?
  6. Opinion please -- with all these extra payments / loss of protection, is self-employment really worth it financially for someone within 5 years of retirement?

    RAV:
  7. If the UK contract offer exists when I cut my ties with my present CH employer, am I still able to register with the RAV? Reason for asking is it might take a while to establish a steady income. Iím wondering if I can register with the RAV but tell them about the UK opportunity and declare any odd days worked so that they can deduct the rate from any RAV entitlement?
  8. Assume I donít register with the RAV and throw myself into the UK contract work. But after 6 months say, decide that itís a waste of time because there isnít enough work, or the travelling is too exhausting. What is the RAVís attitude? Will they treat the UK work like they would CH work, and say I was wrong to resign voluntarily, thereby delaying my entitlement to RAV payments?
  9. Will they evaluate RAV payment based partly on the failed UK work, even if I earned very little? In other words, would the value of my much better-paid current CH work be diluted even though Iíve been paying into the system for nearly 10 years to protect my earnings?

Once again, any assistance would be appreciated. PMs are fine too, though if it's useful info for others, it might be better to post here on the forum.
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  #2  
Old 08.07.2018, 18:39
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

1. Is it better to set up as a UK limited company instead of a Swiss one?

For insurances have a look here:

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/en/Social-insurances
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Old 08.07.2018, 19:00
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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1. Is it better to set up as a UK limited company instead of a Swiss one?

For insurances have a look here:

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/en/Social-insurances
That's a good question that I should have asked. I've presumed that as the UK consultancy bills its customers in the UK, in UKP, that I couldn't set up a Swiss company to handle this. Perhaps I can if the firm has no objection though I'd be surprised if this would get me out of paying UK tax.
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Old 08.07.2018, 19:16
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

It would probably make most sense to register with RAV once your Swiss job is terminated and keep quiet about UK opportunity.
Then as you actually get to do some work for the UK consultancy you report it to RAV as a temporary assignment and they stop your payments (but also 'park' the remainder of your entitlement days) for the duration of that particular contract. This on-an-off with RAV may even get you all the way to the retirement without having to take another job in Switzerland.
Another option would be that you register a UK limited company that then hires you in Switzerland as an ANOBAG employee. The only problem here is your physical presence in the UK that would trigger some tax payable there but on the Swiss side you'd still have unemployment insurance and pension contributions (Pillar 1 & 2).
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Old 08.07.2018, 19:58
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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It would probably make most sense to register with RAV once your Swiss job is terminated and keep quiet about UK opportunity.
Then as you actually get to do some work for the UK consultancy you report it to RAV as a temporary assignment and they stop your payments (but also 'park' the remainder of your entitlement days) for the duration of that particular contract. This on-an-off with RAV may even get you all the way to the retirement without having to take another job in Switzerland.
Another option would be that you register a UK limited company that then hires you in Switzerland as an ANOBAG employee. The only problem here is your physical presence in the UK that would trigger some tax payable there but on the Swiss side you'd still have unemployment insurance and pension contributions (Pillar 1 & 2).
Thanks a lot. If you're right that I can "park" my RAV entitlement (something I was quite unaware of) that would be perfect as it would provide a sort of cushion against things not working out. I wasn't aware of ANOBAG. Is it legally possible for my own limited company in the UK to hire myself in CH?

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to play the system or be 'over-entitled' here. I've probably been unemployed less than 6 months in total over 35+ years of working. But I'd be fed up if the steps taken to stay off welfare threatened the RAV safeguard I'd paid to provide. Am just trying to do the right thing.
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Old 08.07.2018, 23:09
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

If you go the UK job route you'll probably be considered self-employed regardless of how the thing is structured in detail. AFAIK and generally speaking, self-employed people can't accumulate a claim on RAV payments.

Generally speaking, once your current employment comes to an end and you claim RAV, a "Rahmenfrist" of 24 months is opened during which you're entitled to the defined benefits (RAV payments). But chosing the UK job may void this, not sure, see below.

The $64k question is if accepting the UK job and thereby becoming self-employed (if that's how it's categorised) voids your claim on RAV payments because you're no longer available for a job as an employee (no longer"vermittelbar"), or if the soon-to-be-opened Rahmenfrist must run its course regardless.

There is also special help available for employees who intend to build a business and become self-employed, but that's about all I know about this subtopic. You may want to enquire.
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Old 08.07.2018, 23:30
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

Thanks, @Urs Max.

I've done a lot of forum reading about RAV, and the oft-heard advice is to go and talk to them to get the right info. In principle I'm happy to do this, though I'm also aware that this would involve setting out the whole scenario before them which I'm slightly reluctant to do as it might reduce my options further down the line.

But everything noted, thank you.
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Old 08.07.2018, 23:36
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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There is also special help available for employees who intend to build a business and become self-employed, but that's about all I know about this subtopic. You may want to enquire.
The only 'help' in this respect I'm aware of is that people who intend to start their own business can continue receiving RAV payment for three months after registering as an independent and do not have to look for work or report during that period. However, once off RAV in this arrangement all unused benefit days are gone so if one becomes an employee again at some point the minimum contribution periods apply from the start of new employment.

Last edited by theUser; 08.07.2018 at 23:44. Reason: spelling
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Old 08.07.2018, 23:44
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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Is it legally possible for my own limited company in the UK to hire myself in CH?
For the Swiss it should not be a problem as long as the company has some generic name so it's not obviously linked to you but not sure about UK regulations. Do you have someone in the UK that can be trusted to be registered as the (majority) partner in the Ltd? In that case you being a foreign employee could work.
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Old 08.07.2018, 23:56
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

To be honest, if I were you I'd keep the job you have for the next 4.5 years then take up the consulting work.

Or can you not negotiable 50%- 60% with them as well? And do both jobs?
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Old 09.07.2018, 00:23
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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The only 'help' in this respect I'm aware of is that people who intend to start their own business can continue receiving RAV payment for three months after registering as an independent and do not have to look for work or report during that period. However, once off RAV in this arrangement all unused benefit days are gone so if one becomes an employee again at some point the minimum contribution periods apply from the start of new employment.
You mean I might have to start another "12 months out of 24" from the beginning, without being able to reference my 10 years of solid work/tax-paying? Ooh, that could be a deal-breaker as I am not likely to get another job at my age.

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For the Swiss it should not be a problem as long as the company has some generic name so it's not obviously linked to you but not sure about UK regulations. Do you have someone in the UK that can be trusted to be registered as the (majority) partner in the Ltd? In that case you being a foreign employee could work.
Sure, I have plenty of trusted people in the UK but this may be getting more complex than I wanted it to be.

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To be honest, if I were you I'd keep the job you have for the next 4.5 years then take up the consulting work.

Or can you not negotiable 50%- 60% with them as well? And do both jobs?
Thanks, good points, and they've crossed my mind before. If my life depended on it, yes I'd endure the horrible hassle of moving to Bern (which is a lovely city, admittedly) and continue to do the job I can't stand. But I prefer to be thankful that I've been given an unexpected 'get out of jail' card, and the opportunity to break free at last -- albeit with a few risks and complications. 10 years is time for a change.

Re the 50:50 approach, yes that's also a good idea and might just be possible in the short term, but only if I could work remotely, without having to up sticks and move to Bern. Second, I'm guessing that a 50:50 approach might reduce my eventual RAV application, if I need to make one, to 50% of my earlier entitlement (or some reduced figure).
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Old 09.07.2018, 10:57
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

Re the 50:50 approach, yes that's also a good idea and might just be possible in the short term, but only if I could work remotely, without having to up sticks and move to Bern. Second, I'm guessing that a 50:50 approach might reduce my eventual RAV application, if I need to make one, to 50% of my earlier entitlement (or some reduced figure).[/QUOTE]

Ask your current enployer if you can work remotly for two days a week. Don' move - in your private life I mean. Sinply commute by train three days a week. Ask if you can work on the train. Many people do this daily! If you xan afford it go parttime.
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Old 09.07.2018, 11:41
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

I like the 50:50 (or even 60:40) approach myself and I want a get out of jail free card!! Sigh.

Instead of moving, couldn't you find a small apt in Bern for those 3 days? (You've already got approved from me. )
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Old 09.07.2018, 11:59
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

You will be dual tax resident, if you do less than 45 days work in the UK & don't have accommodation available you could easily not be UK tax resident as you have zero ties with the UK. The Statutory definition of UK residence is clear on this.

The RAV only pay out if your earnings ex holiday pay are below 69.9%/79.79% of your insured salary, earn 0.01 happen too much & you don't get a payout that month, different months have a different no of RAV days. You still need to apply for jobs.

I did work in CH for UK clients & was part time self employed when with the RAV on days involved.

RAV translate earnings into days, so 15 days at 150% earnings would be full employment from their POV, even 1 day of pay above 70/80% is 100% working for them.

I don't think the Swiss will be happy if your Director of a limited company paying yourself a salary, they would not accept this if it was a Swiss co.

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Sorry people, a long post, but I’d really appreciate the benefit of your experience. and any advice available re my current situation, and a decision I need to make. An answer to even one of the questions at the bottom, or a general comment, would be great. Or if you know an expert adviser, that would be good too. Thanks in advance.

Background:
  • C Permit holder, in CH nearly 10 years, working for the same company. I've exactly 4 1/2 years to go until official retirement age.
  • At end of 2018, my department relocates from Zurich to Bern. We have the choice of relocating to the new place OR accepting a redundancy package. I’ll probably take redundancy as I’m very bored with the job and don’t fancy the hassle of relocation. It’s not over-generous, but would tide me over for a while, plus of course there’s the RAV. At my age, there’s not a good chance of finding another similar position in Switzerland but I reckon I could get by with a bit of freelancing.
The Complication:
  • I've been offered an opportunity to join a reputable consultancy firm back in the UK. I know the guys, and it’s not a rip-off.
  • Work would be on a contract basis, and would allow me to work flexibly — probably between 10 and 15 days per month. Their small team of contractor-consultants operate as limited companies.
  • Daily rates are about 700 UKP (920 CHF)to me before tax. This is about 50% more than I get at present as a salary in CH (based on actual days worked).
  • CH residency is no problem for them and I can work remotely as much as I want, with the client’s approval. But I’d be in the UK enough to mean I’d be classed as UK-resident for tax purposes.
The Dilemma:

Should I take the UK opportunity or not? I can see benefits and downsides to both options. To help decide, I’m trying to find answers to these questions, which is where I would value the experience and knowledge of the forum:

Tax / pension etc:
  1. I’ll be liable for UK tax as a UK limited company. Will the Swiss authorities be OK with this, as long as I can demonstrate ongoing financial self-sufficiency while living here?
  2. Does the double taxation agreement between UK and CH mean I won't pay CH tax on these earnings?
  3. The UK contract means higher earnings but I'll lose some of the safeguards of a salary + the pension contributions, employment insurance etc. Am I still able to make voluntary contributions to maintain my Pillar 1 state pension or is it forever frozen at current level if I'm self-employed?
  4. Am I able to top up Pillar 2 pension voluntarily?
  5. Self-employment doesn't give RAV-style protection, but is there any way of buying this protection through special contributions?
  6. Opinion please -- with all these extra payments / loss of protection, is self-employment really worth it financially for someone within 5 years of retirement?

    RAV:
  7. If the UK contract offer exists when I cut my ties with my present CH employer, am I still able to register with the RAV? Reason for asking is it might take a while to establish a steady income. I’m wondering if I can register with the RAV but tell them about the UK opportunity and declare any odd days worked so that they can deduct the rate from any RAV entitlement?
  8. Assume I don’t register with the RAV and throw myself into the UK contract work. But after 6 months say, decide that it’s a waste of time because there isn’t enough work, or the travelling is too exhausting. What is the RAV’s attitude? Will they treat the UK work like they would CH work, and say I was wrong to resign voluntarily, thereby delaying my entitlement to RAV payments?
  9. Will they evaluate RAV payment based partly on the failed UK work, even if I earned very little? In other words, would the value of my much better-paid current CH work be diluted even though I’ve been paying into the system for nearly 10 years to protect my earnings?

Once again, any assistance would be appreciated. PMs are fine too, though if it's useful info for others, it might be better to post here on the forum.
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Old 09.07.2018, 13:08
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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Ask your current enployer if you can work remotly for two days a week...... Sinply commute by train three days a week. Ask if you can work on the train. Many people do this daily! If you xan afford it go parttime.
Thanks for the thought but I don't think I could hack it. It's nearly 2 hours each way (I tried it!) To be fair to the company, they acknowledge there'll be a transitional period and have said they're willing to listen to requests like this, though I think it's aimed more at people with partners working in Zurich or kids at school here etc. TBH, if I asked they might well say yes but it's not my favoured solution so I probably won't ask.

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Instead of moving, couldn't you find a small apt in Bern for those 3 days? (You've already got approved from me. )
Ha! Maybe if I was a hotshot banker, yes, a nice idea to maintain 2 Swiss apartments! Not realistic I'm afraid, and my favourite mug would always be in the wrong one.....

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You will be dual tax resident, if you do less than 45 days work in the UK & don't have accommodation available you could easily not be UK tax resident as you have zero ties with the UK. The Statutory definition of UK residence is clear on this.

The RAV only pay out if your earnings ex holiday pay are below 69.9%/79.79% of your insured salary, earn 0.01 happen too much & you don't get a payout that month, different months have a different no of RAV days. You still need to apply for jobs.

I did work in CH for UK clients & was part time self employed when with the RAV on days involved. RAV translate earnings into days, so 15 days at 150% earnings would be full employment from their POV, even 1 day of pay above 70/80% is 100% working for them.

I don't think the Swiss will be happy if your Director of a limited company paying yourself a salary, they would not accept this if it was a Swiss co.
Ah, @FMF, thanks, I was hoping you'd drop by. When I read through a ton of RAV-centric posts recently your name popped up everywhere, dispensing sound advice. (You sound convincing, anyway!) Again, you've given valuable info here I was unaware of re how RAV regards additional earnings. I knew about the UK tax residency rules after reading some docs you'd previously linked to, and I reckon I'd be >45 days in UK + I do have an address as I have close family there.

Can I ask you something else please? If I'm eligible for RAV, having worked at least 12/24 months, what happens if I try, but fail, to be self-employed for 6 months i.e. I would now still have 18/24 months salaried work 'in the bank', after I discount the 6 months. Would RAV still allow me full entitlement (400 days or whatever it is) based on the 18/24? Or would my decision to give up self-employment, having tried but failed, count as voluntary resignation, and therefore reduce my entitlement and/or delay payment? And finally, would those 6 months of low-paid self-employment count as earnings when they calculated my RAV money, or do they ignore them and concentrate on the previous salary? Thanks for any info.
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Old 09.07.2018, 13:35
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Re: Advice/opinions please about RAV vs UK contract work, post-redundancy

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Thanks for the thought but I don't think I could hack it. It's nearly 2 hours each way (I tried it!) To be fair to the company, they acknowledge there'll be a transitional period and have said they're willing to listen to requests like this, though I think it's aimed more at people with partners working in Zurich or kids at school here etc. TBH, if I asked they might well say yes but it's not my favoured solution so I probably won't ask.


Ha! Maybe if I was a hotshot banker, yes, a nice idea to maintain 2 Swiss apartments! Not realistic I'm afraid, and my favourite mug would always be in the wrong one.....



Ah, @FMF, thanks, I was hoping you'd drop by. When I read through a ton of RAV-centric posts recently your name popped up everywhere, dispensing sound advice. (You sound convincing, anyway!) Again, you've given valuable info here I was unaware of re how RAV regards additional earnings. I knew about the UK tax residency rules after reading some docs you'd previously linked to, and I reckon I'd be >45 days in UK + I do have an address as I have close family there.

Can I ask you something else please? If I'm eligible for RAV, having worked at least 12/24 months, what happens if I try, but fail, to be self-employed for 6 months i.e. I would now still have 18/24 months salaried work 'in the bank', after I discount the 6 months. Would RAV still allow me full entitlement (400 days or whatever it is) based on the 18/24? Or would my decision to give up self-employment, having tried but failed, count as voluntary resignation, and therefore reduce my entitlement and/or delay payment? And finally, would those 6 months of low-paid self-employment count as earnings when they calculated my RAV money, or do they ignore them and concentrate on the previous salary? Thanks for any info.
Register as part time self employed in CH, they won't allow you to be full-time self employed as your not taking any risks, your not self employed at all, just pretending to be from a Swiss POV. You will need to stay registered with RAV, apply for jobs & go to meetings if your not working when invited. I often cancelled appointments on the same day due to working.
400 days is only 18 months in 24 month rahemnfrist. Other than applying for jobs online anywhere in the world it should not be too difficult to stay registered. Insured pay stays the same, if you work in CH then you would earn a new Rahemnfrist based on the earnings. It's possible for new payments to exceed annual earnings if the last 6 months earnings are very high.
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