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Old 20.08.2013, 15:36
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Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

When I first joined Novartis, there was a lot of talk at the Welcome day about how we have to pay money towards a Pension fund but not to worry because we get the money back when we leave.

Now that I'm leaving, I've just discovered that this is a complete lie. Since I'm moving to the UK (an EU country), I can reclaim my non-compulsary retirement savings (CHF 2'500) but the BVG retirement savings I cannot reclaim (CHF 4'529!!).

I could be very naive or lacking in knowledge, as I don't know whether to think of BVG as 'tax' or not? Should I be angry, accept it as law or try to get it back with me to the UK? :s
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Old 20.08.2013, 15:38
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

Are you not entitled to however many years of pension from Switzerland?
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Old 20.08.2013, 15:55
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

are they saying you get them when you retire, or what? i never really thought about it. i assumed anything taken off my pay packet was gone, so getting anything back would be something of a bonus
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Old 20.08.2013, 16:00
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

you'll get it back when you retire.
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Old 20.08.2013, 16:13
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

From what I was told this is only true if I decide to retire in Switzerland, as in the 4500 CH cannot leave the country.

I would love to know if there is a way around this. :/
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Old 20.08.2013, 16:20
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

Quote:
De-registration for relocation within the European Union

If you leave Switzerland permanently and move to an EU Member State in the future, you must complete Form B and return it to us with the necessary enclosures mentioned in the form. The non-compulsory part of your vested benefits may be paid out in cash when you leave. The compulsory part (BVG part) and any voluntary extra contributions of the last three years must be transferred to a vested benefits account with a bank or a vested benefits policy of an insurance company. Alternatively the non-compulsory part may also be transferred voluntarily to the vested benefits account or policy. In this case, you must complete Form A by way of exception.
http://www.pensionskassen-novartis.c...-plan/leaving/


ps. I am not even working at Novartis and could find the information
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Old 20.08.2013, 16:53
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

I already read this of course and the form indicates my one and only option is to open a vested benefits account with a bank in Switzerland.

I know what it says, I just can't comprehend why non-EU members get all of their money back and because I live in the UK, I have to have a large amount of my money locked up in Switzerland. It's not exactly a small amount of money.
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Old 20.08.2013, 16:56
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

It is because, I think, that all European pensions are linked. You'll get the money back as pension when you retire, even if you are not living in Switzerland.
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Old 20.08.2013, 16:57
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

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http://www.pensionskassen-novartis.c...-plan/leaving/


ps. I am not even working at Novartis and could find the information
Yes, but what happens after it's been put into the vested benefits? Can you take it out or does it have to sit there until you reach the Swiss retirement age?
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:04
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

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I already read this of course and the form indicates my one and only option is to open a vested benefits account with a bank in Switzerland.

I know what it says, I just can't comprehend why non-EU members get all of their money back and because I live in the UK, I have to have a large amount of my money locked up in Switzerland. It's not exactly a small amount of money.
Seriously, dude, get a grip. There are cross-pension benefits across EU states with CH. Instead of posting here, why don't you ask someone in Novartis HR to explain it to you?

As for a small amount of money... 4500 CHF is hardly ball-breaking in the big scheme of things, especially given that you haven't got the money as such and never had it to spend (i.e. it is tied up in your pension scheme).

Anyway, I reckon that a year's CH state pension will be worth a lot more than a year's UK state pension - assuming that still exists at the time - come retirement.
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:13
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

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I already read this of course and the form indicates my one and only option is to open a vested benefits account with a bank in Switzerland.

I know what it says, I just can't comprehend why non-EU members get all of their money back and because I live in the UK, I have to have a large amount of my money locked up in Switzerland. It's not exactly a small amount of money.
Not sure what your gripe with this is? Is it because you were misinformed by your employer? Or is it the EU/non EU thing? For this, the EU countries and CH have a reciprocal agreement, which is why the funds are not paid out. So just invest the money in a vested benefits fund...and watch it grow.

At the end of the day, you haven't lost any money, it's all just sitting there in your pension pot, just as it would have been if you'd been working in the UK, where it would also have been 'lockedup'. Its pension contributions, intended for when you retire.
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:15
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

"Due to the bilateral agreements of EU with Switzerland we have this defined in the Swiss law. USA or other Non-EU countries have other procedures.
If you leave Novartis permanently, your vested benefits will fall due for payment. If you are leaving Switzerland permanently and moving to an EU Member State, you must complete Form B and return it to us with the necessary enclosures mentioned in the form. The non-compulsory part of your vested benefits may be paid out in cash when you leave. The compulsory part of your vested benefits (BVG part) must be transferred to a vested benefits account with a bank or a vested benefits policy with an insurance company (by law). The compulsory part of the money cannot be transferred on your private bank in Switzerland."
An interesting read. It's not that I'm aggresively trying to protest this arrangement, but simply trying to understand why it is this way and making absolutely sure I'm not able to get this money back for the UK. That's all.
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:20
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

Quote:
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Not sure what your gripe with this is? Is it because you were misinformed by your employer? Or is it the EU/non EU thing? For this, the EU countries and CH have a reciprocal agreement, which is why the funds are not paid out. So just invest the money in a vested benefits fund...and watch it grow.

At the end of the day, you haven't lost any money, it's all just sitting there in your pension pot, just as it would have been if you'd been working in the UK, where it would also have been 'lockedup'. Its pension contributions, intended for when you retire.
Yeah all of the frustration comes from the misleading letters. Mainly because it's unneccessary; when you put it like that it sounds reasonable. We receive one form essentially stating we should start claiming ALL of our pension money back before we leave... and then another, one week later, stating actually you're only getting 2.5/7 of it. I'm sure anyone would find that frustrating overall.

Fair enough though, I'm still new to all of this.
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:22
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

Most things in Switzerland are insurance based but it helps to think of them mapped to the UK equivalent.

So, you've been paying into your pension, same as you pay into your UK pension.

You'll get a pension, based on the amount you've paid in, when you retire. EU people are treated differently to people who go on to live outside the EU as the pensions are co-ordinated.
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:38
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

I agree, it certainly does help comparing it to the UK. Since I essentially came straight out from under my parents roof to living in France and working in Switzerland, I think I've learned more outside of my research than I have in it.

It's being suggested to me by HR that I need to be retiring in Switzerland to get this money back when the time comes. Makes sense, I'm just clarifying it and how this contrasts to all the pensions in the EU being connected.

Thanks for the swift replies guys!
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Old 20.08.2013, 17:50
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

CHF 4'500 might seem a lot of money to an ex-student, but for retirement you should be looking at around CHF 450'000 yes 450'000 Swiss Francs!

The reason you are not allowed to spend your pension fund is that EU nations do not want to support you when you retire. They want you to save up for your future. If someone leaves for another country they will not get any assistance from the EU, and it is not the EU's problem any more.
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Old 20.08.2013, 18:03
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

That sounds totally reasonable. As mentioned, the HR contact was suggesting to me that Switzerland will only give me my pension money if I choose to retire in Switzerland.

I'm hearing the opposite from her now. I completely understand that I cannot simply combine Swiss and UK pensions. Just as long as I can access it when I retire (in the UK most likely). I agree 4500 CH is hardly pension money, I'd be saving up when I'm back in the UK (might be a lot less money, but it's home).
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Old 20.08.2013, 19:09
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

Your HR department lies (umm, I mean is confused). You'll get the pension assuming you retire in the UK (or whatever is left of the EU by the time you retire :-) ). If you go abroad at any point in the future, you *may* be able to get the money out. Not sure. But the amount is so small you could blow most of it in movement fees, and the CHF likely to be stable for a while yet.
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Old 20.08.2013, 19:32
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

And just to be clear, it is not about nationality but rather country of destination.

So if you are German and leave to China, you can still cash it out.

And if you are German and leave to Germany, you can still cash out the amount above minimal coverage level.

What your HR means when they say "take it out" they mean "move it from Novartis' pension fund to a "public" second pillar account with a bank"

And indeed, you will be able to cash it out when you retire wherever you are provided the fund still exists

One thing I do not know if what happens if after going to the UK you would leave for a non EU country, whether then you could cash it out. Maybe your HR can tell you? Would appreciate the knowledge

Cheers,
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Old 20.08.2013, 22:06
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Re: Bye-bye all BVG retirement payments? :(

I'd be happy to ask and get back to you. As for me, it is extremely likely that I would retire in the UK... in saying that, it is far in the future.

I don't have a pension yet in the UK, as it will be my next job that will be saving for this (I was a student before this one). I also don't have a vested benefits account and I think I read that Novartis will just transfer it to one in Zurich automatically- I will need to clarify this.

If I see this money upon my UK retirement I will be more than happy. I will just make sure to make copies of the relevant forms and keep them safe.
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