By Peter Ehrler, Elected Member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad for New Zealand
It is common practise in Switzerland that somewhere around the age of 60 your bank and or your life insurance provider will approach you to plan your financial needs and requirements for the time after the age of 65 taking all assets, mortgages, insurances, pensions and any other relevant factors into account.
One point that will come up is the OASI (AHV) and at what age you might consider applying for it. As mentioned in previous articles, the OASI can be requested up to 2 years prior to the normal pension age with a deduction of either 6.8% or 13.6% per annum.
Why this question?
Well, depending on your personal health, medical history or family medical history, people might have different life expectancies. Taking all of these factors into consideration, some people opt to take the OASI as soon as it is legally possible.
Mathematically calculated, taking the OASI ahead of the official pension age has some financial benefits as you will receive all in all more money paid out as a whole sum up to the age of around 79. If you pass away after that age of 79, mathematically calculated, you would have been better off by applying for the OASI at the age of 65.
For calculation purposes I have made the following assumptions: A person was to receive around CHF 2’000 per month.
As mentioned above and shown by the calculations, the advantage of receiving it earlier is neutralised or equalised somewhere around the age of 79 years.
On the other hand, one can postpone or delay the OASI between 1 year and 5 years. If one wishes to wait one year the regular amount will increase by 5.2% which will increase to 31.5% if postponed for 5 years.
All the information can be obtained here.
I would like to clearly emphasise that this is a purely informative article and that every person needs to look in detail at his or her personal situation, as no case is the same as the other. There are so many factors to be taken into consideration if one intends to take the OASI in advance such as: the eligible OASI amount due, family situation, financial situation in general, just to mention a few.
Please note the following:
The Swiss OASI is not automatically paid out when reaching the age of 65. You need to apply for your OASI. It is recommended to apply about 5-6 months in advance. There are several forms to be filled out with documentation to be submitted to the OASI office in Geneva. All information and list of documents required are available and listed online. If you do not apply you will not receive any OASI. The OASI Office in Geneva will not send you a prior notification for eligibility.
Elected Member of the Swiss Abroad
Representing New Zealand
Background photo credits: Depositphotos, Francine Schaepper Photography, Organisation of the Swiss Abroad, CSA Oceania
Many Swiss in Oceania have expressed their frustration and disappointment on the late or non-arrival of their voting material sent by regular mail from Switzerland.
The term of your current four CSA Oceania Delegates ends mid 2021, and elections are being held in Australia starting the process early in 2021.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congress of the Swiss Abroad and the meeting of the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) that were to be held in Lugano this August had to be postponed to next year. As a consequence – and as a first of its kind – the CSA meeting was conducted virtually, utilising the online conference system ‘Demio’. It took place on 10 July 2020 and a total of 86 delegates participated.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting of the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) on 14 March 2020 in Berne had to be cancelled. As a consequence - and as a first in the history of the organisation – the 127 delegates were asked to cast their votes electronically in matters that couldn’t be postponed until the next meeting.
Sadly, the Congress of the Swiss Abroad that was to be held in Lugano from 21 to 23 August 2020, and with it the CSA summer assembly, had to be cancelled.
Dear fellow Swiss
As you are all aware the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is quickly spreading around the world but the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not changed its warning level (public health emergency of international concern) since January 30, 2020.
A lot has happened lately with regards to e-voting. There has been growing resistance and a fair bit of scare-mongering in Switzerland regarding the introduction of e-voting. Whilst the advantages are obvious to the government and the Swiss Abroad, sceptics argue that the trust in the democratic process is compromised due to e-security uncertainty and the cost of developing a secure system is also a concern. Earlier this year, a broad alliance of political parties has been collecting signatures for a popular initiative. Their aim is to ban the introduction of e-voting for at least five years.
The legislative body of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), met for its biannual meeting at the town hall in Bern on 23 March 2019. For the second time, the meeting followed on an exchange with Swiss parliamentarians for an update on political issues with relevance for the Swiss Abroad.
Canton Geneva has announced it can no longer afford to bear the cost of an e-voting system and plans to abandon the project, according to Swiss public radio, RTS. This leaves only one other e-voting project still standing in Switzerland run by Swiss Post.
Read the full Swissinfo report here
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 13 June 2018 – The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) representing the interests of 751,800 compatriots living abroad, is disappointed that the Council of States today rejected Motion 17.3626 by 30 votes to 9 with 4 abstentions. The Council of States has decided not to follow the majority of its Foreign Policy Commission (APK-S) and has rejected a motion calling on PostFinance to accept Swiss Abroad on similar terms as citizens residing in Switzerland. The problem that has existed for our compatriots living abroad for ten years remains unresolved.
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 30 May 2018 – The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is relieved that the Council of States has today decided to follow the recommendation of its Commission on Social Security and Health (SGK-S) to delete the amendment to Article 4 (1) in the context of the supplementary benefits reform. This means that the current rules remain in place. Last March, the National Council approved an application whereby Swiss Abroad would have had to pay social security contributions (AHV) for at least ten years in order to qualify for supplementary benefits, which would have discriminated against Swiss Abroad.
On 10 March 2018, at he CSA meeting in Bern, the executive of the OSA announced that it had entered into a partnership with the Geneva Cantonal Bank (BCGE).
More information is available under the topic Swiss Banks.
The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) would like to know about difficulties you have encountered in the area of health insurance and the practical problems that you face as a Swiss person living abroad. This may be of specific relevance to those living temporarily in the Oceania region or those in need for travel insurance when visiting Switzerland. By the same token, if you have had positive experiences or wish to share good practices, please do so!
The purpose is to look at ways of improving the situation of Swiss people living abroad in this regard.
You can send your experiences and suggestions to us delegates and/or directly to the head office in Bern: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Swiss Parliament voted for the Introduction of Automatic Exchange of Information with New Zealand. A summary and comments by Peter Ehrler, New Zealand Member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad.
On 27 September, the National Council (Nationalrat) followed the recommendation from the Economic Commission of the Lower House and rejected implementing the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) with New Zealand. The majority of the members are of the opinion that the Swiss in New Zealand are disadvantaged over other Swiss living abroad, because of the Swiss pension (AHV) being confiscated by the New Zealand Government.
Are you receiving an income from the Swiss Social Insurance (AHV/AVS or IV/AI)?
You may be entitled to claim a tax deduction in Australia for personal contributions paid into the insurance.
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