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Old 17.10.2011, 20:57
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Rolling swiss pension into US 401K or other

First, I have read a lot of posts and the sticky regarding Swiss pensions. I am however, still confused. I researched this more than a year ago when we first started looking to move back to the US from CH. We are now in the US and my husband has a job with a US company. When we first left, we left my husbands pension where it was until we were settled. At the time I knew we couldn't get Pillar 1 back. My husband worked in CH for 9+ years. We recently received a letter from the Ch Pension administrator telling us that we need to move the pension as we are no longer in CH. However, when my husband asked his HR person about rolling it into his current pension fund, they asked if it was ERISA backed. (I'm unsure why this matters). So my question is, can we roll it (I though I read in an old thread that someone had successfully rolled their contributions over)? If not, what are our other options/tax consequences? I'm sure we will pay something to CH when we take it out, but also to US? Also, to be clear, we never made any of our own (Pillar 3) contributions, it was all just the regular mandatory program. Thanks
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Old 18.10.2011, 20:44
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Re: Rolling swiss pension into US 401K or other

Well KD, if you find out, let me know. I'm moving back to the US on Nov 20th, and I'd like to take the $ with me. I just don't know the best way, or even how long it takes. I've only been here for 6 years, not 9+.
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Old 18.10.2011, 21:23
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Re: Rolling swiss pension into US 401K or other

I'm sure you can take it. Now that the U.S. is cracking down on citizens with foreign accounts, the Swiss banks have been throwing our money back at us. We wanted to leave some funds in our Swiss account until our taxes were cleared (my husband left in January and our Swiss tax person arranged to do the finalized taxes for '10 and '11 at once, but they weren't going to be ready till October.) by March we had a letter from our bank saying our account would be closed and where could they send our money. No chance of keeping the account open because of pressure from IRS or something. Now the same is happening with the pension. I think it's just a matter of how much tax you have to pay, but I want to be able to roll it. It hardly seems fair otherwise.
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Old 18.10.2011, 21:46
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Re: Rolling swiss pension into US 401K or other

I wish I had better news but as I understand it the US does not recognize the Swiss pension scheme (they have treaties with some countries but not others) so we can unfortunately not roll pensions into 401kswe our tax preparer told us we are supposed to pay taxes on our pensions and interest ( both the income we put in, and our employers contribution) each year, and then when we move home we can take it with us as cash, less Swiss taxes.
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Old 20.10.2011, 10:05
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Re: Rolling swiss pension into US 401K or other

I understand you cannot roll it into a 401k for the reasons stated, it is not compatible, nor is it an IRS qualified account. But I believe you can put it into an IRA for some tax savings but best to use an intermediary who has expertise in this.
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