Swiss Age pension

Why do some apply for the Swiss OASI (Old Age and Survivor's Insurance) AHV before reaching the regular pension age?

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.

 

Example:

For calculation purposes I have made the following assumptions: A person was to receive around CHF 2’000 per month. 

  • Applying for the OASI pension at 65 and accumulated until the age of 79 the person would receive CHF 24’000 per year multiplied by 14 years gives a total sum of CHF 336’000
  • Applying for the OASI pension at 63 and accumulated until the age of 79 the person, with the reduced value (-13.6%), would receive CHF 20’736 per year multiplied by 16 years gives a total sum of CHF 331’776.

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.

 

Peter Ehrler

Elected Member of the Swiss Abroad

Representing New Zealand