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
CSA elections in 2021: because the Swiss e-voting systems are on hold until further notice, direct election via e-voting of the CSA delegates (as per pilot projects in Australia and Mexico in 2016) will not be possible. The CSA Delegates in Australia will have the job to organise the next elections without certainty of assistance at this stage. Importance is given to umbrella organisations in countries where they exist, which will have the task to organise fair and democratic elections. Default solution is the ‘old System’ each country carried in the past.
The 50th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Summit took place in Tuvalu from 13 to 16 August, 2019.
Switzerland is a success story, but it will have to evolve under fast changing international conditions. Therefore, foreign policy will become more important for Switzerland’s prosperity and security. Starting from these reflections, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis established the AVIS28 working group in 2018 with the aim to define a coherent and adaptive foreign policy vision for Switzerland for 2028. AVIS28 is a source of inspiration and new ideas, and at the same time, it should initiate a broad discussion on the future of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland needs the courage to change. Its foreign policy must become more focused, networked and agile. Switzerland should also work more closely with like-minded states, like Australia and New Zealand, towards their common goals.
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.
From 13 April to 29 September 2019, the Swiss Abroad will be featured in the Swiss History Forum in Schwyz as part of the exhibition ‘Switzerland elsewhere’.
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
The Consulate General of Switzerland in Sydney and the Embassy of Switzerland in Wellington inform that they plan to visit the following cities with the mobile passport station:
• Auckland (May)
• Northland (May – only if sufficient interest)
• Perth (first half of April)
• Melbourne (October)
Saturday, 15 September saw the ‘Young Swiss Citizen Celebration’ being held for the third time in Victoria. 15 young Swiss who recently celebrated their 18th birthday, and therefore have become fully-fletched Swiss citizens with all the rights and obligations that this entails, followed the invitation by the Hon. Consul, Manuela Erb, to a luncheon at the Swiss Club of Victoria. They were accompanied by their mums and dads, grandparents and brothers and sisters.