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  #21  
Old 03.04.2007, 18:16
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

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I have a very simple question related to the original question above. One that my bank refuses to answer.

Let's say I start investing in funds at some bank in Switzerland now that I live here.

A few years down the line I leave this country. Clearly depending on how the funds have performed this may not be a good time pull out these investments.

My question: can I keep this account open in Switzerland when I leave Switzerland (I am non-EU)?

Note that I am not talking about pensions. This is my own money that I am investing. Further I have no interest in banking secrecy (after all, if I did, I probably would be rich enough to hire people to help me)

I asked two of the biggest banks this question. No answer. One said yes/maybe / no depening on the person who answered. And no one could answer why.
The answer is: Yes you can keep your Swiss bank account open. I lived in Switzerland for 7 years and moved to HK in 2003. I've kept my account with UBS open and active in the last 4 years. I transferred money out of Switzerland on average once a month - no problems here. I also kept a credit card active.
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  #22  
Old 03.04.2007, 18:25
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

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I am considering moving from Zurich to the US on a permanent basis, and I have accumulated a sizable pension here during the last 10 years. Can i transfer my pension money out of Switzerland when i leave ?
I've worked in Switzerland for 7 years and accumulated a company pension fund (2nd pillar) and volutary 3rd pillar. This year I proceeded to take both 2nd & 3rd pillar money out of Switzerland, however I was charged a withholding tax on exiting the "system". The trick is that the WHT tax rate is different in different cantons. So I transferred both my 2nd pillar and 3rd pillar to a pension fund foundation in Schwyz, where the WHT tax rate is around 5%, versus the 6% in the original fund. The fund is called www.PensFree.ch (excellent service btw). Once my money was in PensFree, I then transferred it out of Switzerland - it cost me 5% + 0.6% fee.

The exercise was beneficial as all the contributions I made in the past was tax free (saving me at least marginal 30%) and I was only charged 5.6%.

Bottom line - if you work in Switzerland and will one day leave - CRANK up the pension contribution!
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  #23  
Old 05.04.2007, 14:22
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

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I've worked in Switzerland for 7 years and accumulated a company pension fund (2nd pillar) and volutary 3rd pillar. This year I proceeded to take both 2nd & 3rd pillar money out of Switzerland, however I was charged a withholding tax on exiting the "system". The trick is that the WHT tax rate is different in different cantons. So I transferred both my 2nd pillar and 3rd pillar to a pension fund foundation in Schwyz, where the WHT tax rate is around 5%, versus the 6% in the original fund. The fund is called www.PensFree.ch (excellent service btw). Once my money was in PensFree, I then transferred it out of Switzerland - it cost me 5% + 0.6% fee.

The exercise was beneficial as all the contributions I made in the past was tax free (saving me at least marginal 30%) and I was only charged 5.6%.

Bottom line - if you work in Switzerland and will one day leave - CRANK up the pension contribution!
Unless you'll be leaving for an EU country.
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  #24  
Old 25.04.2007, 20:30
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

I've worked in Switzerland for 7 years and accumulated a company pension fund (2nd pillar) and volutary 3rd pillar. This year I proceeded to take both 2nd & 3rd pillar money out of Switzerland, however I was charged a withholding tax on exiting the "system". The trick is that the WHT tax rate is different in different cantons. So I transferred both my 2nd pillar and 3rd pillar to a pension fund foundation in Schwyz, where the WHT tax rate is around 5%, versus the 6% in the original fund. The fund is called www.PensFree.ch (excellent service btw). Once my money was in PensFree, I then transferred it out of Switzerland - it cost me 5% + 0.6% fee.

The exercise was beneficial as all the contributions I made in the past was tax free (saving me at least marginal 30%) and I was only charged 5.6%.

Bottom line - if you work in Switzerland and will one day leave - CRANK up the pension contribution!



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Unless you'll be leaving for an EU country.
Hmm, Richard says that "the obligatory savings part of your pension will be paid into the state pension scheme where such a scheme exists or can be placed in a locked vested interest account in Switzerland until you reach retirement age or wait 5 years."

I read the document posted in another thread which actually says "5 years before retirement". So Gav is right, moving to an EU country will mean the compulsatory part stays in Switzerland for ages.... but cranking up still sounds like a good idea since that concerns the part you CAN take with you, even to the EU.


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The 3rd pillar is also cash-in-able. This you can fully take with you when you leave Switzerland.
I heard from UBS today that the EU is also thinking of negotiating the 3rd Pillar! If that is true however, then it would make sense you could use the 3rd pillar to buy a house in the EU, if you leave Switzerland.

Last edited by muze7; 25.04.2007 at 20:42.
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  #25  
Old 15.03.2009, 02:13
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

Could you get around it by moving to a non-EU country first so that you can take out all your cash and then afterwards move to the EU country of your choice?


If this works, then the tax savings alone could pay for a nice little holiday to the non-EU destination of your choice!
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  #26  
Old 01.06.2009, 00:08
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

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Could you get around it by moving to a non-EU country first so that you can take out all your cash and then afterwards move to the EU country of your choice?


If this works, then the tax savings alone could pay for a nice little holiday to the non-EU destination of your choice!

You are right. If you want to cash in as well the non obligatory part, you can transit through a non EU country.

Before doing so, as moving to one country to move later on to another one costs money and time as well, there a few other things to check out:
First of all, the mandatory part of your vested benefit is mostly very little compared to the whole amount. This depends on the time being working and insured in CH, your age, salary, voluntary buy backs....
Then make sure in which country you want to settle down, I would avoid Germany (they will taxe you even more than the tax at source already paid in CH....).

As written above, the vested benefit foundation www.PensFree.ch has an excellent service / knowledge in this matter and can help you for those questions. Beside this, the fees become even cheaper.
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  #27  
Old 01.06.2009, 08:40
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland to USA 2010

Hi
Can anyone help with an updated version to this question.
I (a Brit), 48 years young, left England in 1989, have been in Zurich resident since 1998 , accumulated 300K CHF in pension, nothing much in 3rd pillar,and want to emigrate permanently to the USA or SIngapore in mid 2010.

The questions are:
a) Can I take my pension with me?
b) in what format can I take?
c) how long do I have to wait to take it?
d) what format or urrency can I take it?
e) what kind of cost will there be?

NOTE that I want to keep this all clean with no strange stuff!
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  #28  
Old 01.06.2009, 22:34
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland to USA 2010

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Hi
Can anyone help with an updated version to this question.
I (a Brit), 48 years young, left England in 1989, have been in Zurich resident since 1998 , accumulated 300K CHF in pension, nothing much in 3rd pillar,and want to emigrate permanently to the USA or SIngapore in mid 2010.

The questions are:
a) Can I take my pension with me?
b) in what format can I take?
c) how long do I have to wait to take it?
d) what format or urrency can I take it?
e) what kind of cost will there be?

NOTE that I want to keep this all clean with no strange stuff!
You can withdraw all your pension and after paying Swiss taxes (about 8%) convert it into any currency and transfer it to any Bank account anywhere in the world. There may be additional taxes in the destination country.
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  #29  
Old 09.06.2009, 22:54
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland to USA 2010

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You can withdraw all your pension and after paying Swiss taxes (about 8%) convert it into any currency and transfer it to any Bank account anywhere in the world. There may be additional taxes in the destination country.
Whether you can withdraw everything, depends
- where you are settling down after having left Switzerland and whether
- whether you have done voluntary buy backs into your pension scheme.

Tax at source: By passing through a vested benefit foundation in the canton of Schwyz, then you pay max. 4.8% of tax at source.
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  #30  
Old 09.06.2009, 23:02
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland to USA 2010

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Hi
Can anyone help with an updated version to this question.
I (a Brit), 48 years young, left England in 1989, have been in Zurich resident since 1998 , accumulated 300K CHF in pension, nothing much in 3rd pillar,and want to emigrate permanently to the USA or SIngapore in mid 2010.

The questions are:
a) Can I take my pension with me?
b) in what format can I take?
c) how long do I have to wait to take it?
d) what format or urrency can I take it?
e) what kind of cost will there be?

NOTE that I want to keep this all clean with no strange stuff!
Answers:
a)
2nd pillar:
Yes, once you have left Switzerland permanently and if your last voluntary buy back has been at least 3 years in the circuit of the 2nd pillar.
3a pillar:
There are no restrictions.
b)Payment usually is done in cash...in Swiss francs....some foundations give you the choice as well transfer the portfolio if you have done an investment before....
c)
1) Have a look at point a)
2) Cash payment process can be done very quickly, once you have all needed documents....
d) Have a look at point b)
d) Ask the foundation....for PensFree
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  #31  
Old 27.07.2009, 20:11
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

Can someone help me with my situation:

27 year old leaving to the US. I have only made contributions for 22 months.

1) Can I take my entire pension with me? (mine and the employers portion)

2) I live in Zurich and the PK is in Zug. What kind of Quellensteuer am I looking at if i take it out? Should I move it to Schwyz? (probably wont make a huge difference)

3) my employers contribution "Jaehrlicher Gesamtbeitrag" is 200% of my contribution, then it says "davon Sparbeitrag" is 100%. So what does this actually mean, does only the Sparbeitrag become eligible to be removed?

Last edited by kiwiguy08; 27.07.2009 at 20:22.
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  #32  
Old 28.07.2009, 19:46
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

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Can someone help me with my situation:

27 year old leaving to the US. I have only made contributions for 22 months.

1) Can I take my entire pension with me? (mine and the employers portion)

2) I live in Zurich and the PK is in Zug. What kind of Quellensteuer am I looking at if i take it out? Should I move it to Schwyz? (probably wont make a huge difference)

3) my employers contribution "Jaehrlicher Gesamtbeitrag" is 200% of my contribution, then it says "davon Sparbeitrag" is 100%. So what does this actually mean, does only the Sparbeitrag become eligible to be removed?
Contributions to the pension plan consist of:
  • Risk premium for death, invalidity, etc.
  • The savings component "Sparbeitrag".
The risk premium goes to the insurer. The savings component is yours. The restrictions on cashing out are extensively discussed in other threads.

Ask your HR for precise details on how much you have, what you can take and the possible taxes.
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  #33  
Old 01.12.2009, 20:21
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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


Bryan.
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  #34  
Old 01.12.2009, 20:27
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

OK, I now know that LPP=Pillar 2 = employer's pension scheme.
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  #35  
Old 01.12.2009, 20:32
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

You might want to consider what happens at the other end too. Sure no problem taking it out of Switzerland, but many places are not too keen on you turning up with a suitcase full of readies; A point worth mentioning in your FAQ. Make sure the candidate checks the local restrictions on bringing money into their home country too.
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  #36  
Old 01.12.2009, 20:46
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

Think of pillar 3a as an ISA in the UK - entirely personal which you may/may not set up. It is completely independent of your employer. Pillar 2 is your company pension, which includes employer and your contributions. This is ordinarily transferrable only into an approved pension scheme when returning to UK (it's a tax free accrual intended to pay for your pension when you retire). The normal process I believe is to initially transfer it into a blocked account when you leave your swiss employer, then transfer it later into the UK pension. It may be true that those blocked accounts are only required/possible if >20,000 I have no idea. Also, consider that sometimes (at least in the past in the UK) a worker who remained for less than e.g. 2 years with an employer might forfeit the employer contribution of the company pension - I have no idea if that can still apply, or might apply to you.

As for funding a house purchase, it is true that in Switzerland you can withdraw money from your pension for this - however a) not sure if this applies to the mandatory element b) not sure if this can be used for overseas purchase by a resident or non-resident c) as noted earlier in this thread, there would be an element of taxation (something like 6-8% according to canton I believe).
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  #37  
Old 01.12.2009, 20:50
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

Thanks for that, but UBS told me that I couldn't open a blocked a/c as I was no longer a Swiss resident.
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  #38  
Old 20.01.2012, 17:36
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

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If you are a non-EU person, you may take your 2nd and 3er pillar money out of the country. Be aware that as this is money you have been accumulating on a tax free basis, you will be charged a "quellensteuer" on the money you withdraw.

If you are Swiss moving to the US, I am not sure if you can withdraw money accumulated under either of the aforementioned savings plans.

If you are an EU person, you may withdraw the money provided you move before new bilateral laws go into effect next year.

You may find the actual info (albeit in german) here:
http://www.pkzh.ch/internet/pkzh/pk/home.html
Very useful. So the Pillar 1 (Is this called State Pension) is not reimbursable or given back to a US citizen?
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  #39  
Old 23.01.2019, 10:36
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Re: Taking money out of Switzerland

hello
so after living in Switzerland for 20 years i can see retirement on the horizon do i understand correctly from this forum and reading the unclear jargon on taxation laws.
Once my pension pillars are taxed here in Switzerland i am then left with a lump sum which i can take back to the UK and will not be taxed a second time in the UK? due to the double taxation treaty?
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