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Old 05.04.2021, 02:25
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AHV EL - Extended benefits question

Hi,

If I am receiving AHV EL Ergänzungsleistungen (Extended benefits) how long can I be out of CH for a holiday? Is your presence controlled by anyone?
Thanks much!
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Old 05.04.2021, 07:35
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Re: AHV EL - Extended benefits question

No idea about IV but your permit is forfeit when you are longer gone than 3 months on a B permit and 6 months with a C permit.
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Old 05.04.2021, 12:32
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Re: AHV EL - Extended benefits question

If you are not Swiss, be very careful to check the permits, as roegner said.
If you are Swiss, you are free to come and go as you please. If you are mostly out of the country, the Swiss don't care.

The other country in which you spend a lot of time might want you to register and pay tax. As long as you are domiciled in Switzerland, you must pay tax here and pay medical insurance here.

Your AHV will be paid to you, world-wide. You can go on holiday, or you can emigrate, and still your AHV will be paid to you, and you can designate whether you would like to receive it in a Swiss bank (which will charge you high fees to keep that account open if you are no longer domiciled in Switzerland), or to a foreign bank where you newly live (and then you'll be dealing with exchange rate fluctuations).

Now, however, to the unhappy chapter of the EL (Ergänzungsleistungen). Those are, first of all, means-tested. They are a top-up (Ergänzung meand addition or add-on) to the AHV, and you get them only if your general income (your AHV, and perhaps a pension from the BVG pension plan of a former employer, if any, or any private pension) is relatively low, and your assets (savings of all kinds) are also not high.

EL are also domicile-based, and so you can't receive them if you live outside of Switzerland. They get stopped if you are outside of Switzerland for 90 days, i.e. you have to come back by the 89th day (best a few days' earlier, just to be sure).

That simple three-month rule is, however, not to be played around with. It's not considered okay to spend, say, January in Switzerland, February, March and April in France, May in Switzerland, June, July and August in Austria, September in Switzerland, and then be gone again for till the end of the year. This is because "living in Switzerland" is not measured merely by crossing the border, or having your papers registered at the municipality, but by having the centre-point of your life in Switzerland. This is defined as having the activities of your public, social and private life converging in one main place, such that it can be understood by any outside person as the main place in which you mostly conduct your life. If you stay away too often, you no longer fulfil that criterion.
EDIT: Please see post below. The government site sets out that the 90 days are cumulative, per calendar year.

There is more about this concept of centre-point in this thread, and the other threads to which it links:
https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...itzerland.html

Last edited by doropfiz; 05.04.2021 at 12:44.
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Old 05.04.2021, 12:42
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Re: AHV EL - Extended benefits question

Here is what the Swiss government says about the new rules of EL. However, you will need to check, if your EL started before 1st January 2021, whether the old or the new rules apply to you.

It is worse than what I posted above. The 90 days are cumulative over the calendar year!

I've copied the German here, since you are using the German terms. Please use deepl or google translate.

https://www.bsv.admin.ch/bsv/de/home...gl-reform.html
Welche Auswirkungen haben die Änderungen für meine Ferien und Auslandaufenthalte?

Die neuen Gesetzesbestimmungen sehen in Bezug auf Auslandaufenthalte eine Präzisierung vor.

Ab dem 1. Januar 2021 werden die Ergänzungsleistungen sowohl bei ununterbrochenen als auch unterbrochenen Auslandaufenthalten von insgesamt mehr als 90 Tagen (bisher: 92 Tage) pro Kalenderjahr und ohne wichtigen Grund vorübergehend und rückwirkend auf den Beginn des Monats eingestellt, in dem die Person den 90. Tag im Ausland verbracht hat.

Begibt sich eine Person in einem Kalenderjahr, in dem sie bereits mindestens 90 Tage im Ausland verbracht hat, erneut ins Ausland, so werden die Ergänzungsleistungen auf den Beginn des Monats eingestellt, in dem die Person die Schweiz erneut verlassen hat. Die Ergänzungsleistungen werden ab dem Monat wieder ausgerichtet, der auf die Rückkehr in die Schweiz folgt. Die Tage der Ein- und Ausreise gelten nicht als Auslandaufenthalt.

Hält sich eine Person aus einem wichtigen Grund mehr als ein Jahr im Ausland auf, so werden die Ergänzungsleistungen auf das Ende des Monats eingestellt, in dem die Person den 365. Tag im Ausland verbracht hat. Als wichtiger Grund gilt
  • unter gewissen Umständen ein zwingender Auslandaufenthalt in Bezug auf die Ausbildung;
  • eine Krankheit oder ein Unfall der EL-beziehenden Person oder eines mit ihm ins Ausland gereisten Familienangehörigen, die oder der eine Rückkehr in die Schweiz verunmöglicht;
  • ein Fall von höherer Gewalt, der die Rückkehr in die Schweiz verhindert.
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Old 05.04.2021, 12:49
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Re: AHV EL - Extended benefits question

Quote:
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Here is what the Swiss government says about the new rules of EL. However, you will need to check, if your EL started before 1st January 2021, whether the old or the new rules apply to you.

It is worse than what I posted above. The 90 days are cumulative over the calendar year!

I've copied the German here, since you are using the German terms. Please use deepl or google translate.

https://www.bsv.admin.ch/bsv/de/home...gl-reform.html
Welche Auswirkungen haben die Änderungen für meine Ferien und Auslandaufenthalte?

Die neuen Gesetzesbestimmungen sehen in Bezug auf Auslandaufenthalte eine Präzisierung vor.

Ab dem 1. Januar 2021 werden die Ergänzungsleistungen sowohl bei ununterbrochenen als auch unterbrochenen Auslandaufenthalten von insgesamt mehr als 90 Tagen (bisher: 92 Tage) pro Kalenderjahr und ohne wichtigen Grund vorübergehend und rückwirkend auf den Beginn des Monats eingestellt, in dem die Person den 90. Tag im Ausland verbracht hat.

Begibt sich eine Person in einem Kalenderjahr, in dem sie bereits mindestens 90 Tage im Ausland verbracht hat, erneut ins Ausland, so werden die Ergänzungsleistungen auf den Beginn des Monats eingestellt, in dem die Person die Schweiz erneut verlassen hat. Die Ergänzungsleistungen werden ab dem Monat wieder ausgerichtet, der auf die Rückkehr in die Schweiz folgt. Die Tage der Ein- und Ausreise gelten nicht als Auslandaufenthalt.

Hält sich eine Person aus einem wichtigen Grund mehr als ein Jahr im Ausland auf, so werden die Ergänzungsleistungen auf das Ende des Monats eingestellt, in dem die Person den 365. Tag im Ausland verbracht hat. Als wichtiger Grund gilt
  • unter gewissen Umständen ein zwingender Auslandaufenthalt in Bezug auf die Ausbildung;
  • eine Krankheit oder ein Unfall der EL-beziehenden Person oder eines mit ihm ins Ausland gereisten Familienangehörigen, die oder der eine Rückkehr in die Schweiz verunmöglicht;
  • ein Fall von höherer Gewalt, der die Rückkehr in die Schweiz verhindert.
I think this is only fair.

If you get EL, as mentioned, it means you can't live with AHV and you need a top up.

Spending months outside of Switzerland, where life might be cheaper, defeats the purpose of EL. Also, if you can afford to travel more than 3 months/year, you probably do not need EL.
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Old 07.04.2021, 05:56
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Thank you so much for the excellent answers. Just what I was looking for, absolute clarification. Danke!

Thank you!! Excellent.

Last edited by roegner; 07.04.2021 at 08:03. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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