Why worry about your pension provision, when you can rely on the care of UWP!

BVG2015

Fundamentals

2.5%

Acturial interest rate

5.8%

Conversion rate (all-inclusive)

Pension provision at UWP

UWP specialises in providing and operating customised pension plans for each individual customer. Unlike many other providers, UWP is able to offer all pension plans that meet statutory provisions, thanks to a highly developed administration software system. As a result, UWP's solutions are adapted to the customer's needs and not vice versa.

Like most pension funds in Switzerland, UWP is an "all-inclusive" fund. This means that rather than managing two separate accounts for each insured member – one for mandatory OPA benefits and one for non-mandatory benefits – everything is managed in just one account. Of course, the OPA minimum for each insured member also runs along in the background, but this shadow account is normally only used for control purposes.

As an all-inclusive fund, UWP pays interest at a single rate on the entire retirement assets of the insured members. We do not pay different rates for mandatory and non-mandatory benefits. When it comes to calculating retirement pensions, UWP also only applies one conversion rate to the entire retirement assets of the insured members. Other pension funds still use two different rates.

UWP has modern pension fund regulations that meet the requirements of today's market. In particular, these also take account of the constantly changing needs of society.  You can contact our administration office at any time, whenever you have questions regarding your pension plan.

The optimum solution

For small and medium-sized occupational benefits foundations (OBFs) within the framework of a collective foundation.

There are very many collective foundations in Switzerland, but very few can accommodate the individual needs of previously independent occupational benefits foundations. 

Advantages for you

  • Low risk and management costs (save up to 50%)
  • Less complexity for you as the customer, in particular no more need to interact with regulatory bodies and supervisory authorities
  • Your pensioners can be transferred to the much larger UWP pool of pensioners

UWP specialises in this area and has distinguished itself through the successful acquisition of several previously independent occupational benefits foundations.

Our offer

  • Creation of a separate, closed account for your pension fund 
  • Incorporation of all assets and liabilities (incl. real estate) at a 1:1 rate into your separate account
  • Free transfer of your pension fund to UWP, supported by pension-fund experts
  • Liquidation of your pension fund at preferential conditions
  • Transfer of the pensioners of your pension fund to the UWP pool of pensioners

Pension provision in Switzerland

 

Pillar 1

Pillar 1, also known as the Old-Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance,  operates according to a "pay-as-you-go" system. This means that contributions paid in today are used tomorrow to pay current benefits.  Individuals do not save for themselves.

Each employee and their employer pay a fixed percentage, currently 6.225% each of the salary, into the Old-Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance scheme, so that higher earners pay in more and lower earners less. The insured member does not have to declare contributions to the Old-Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance as income.

 

Pillar 2 

Pillar 2 provision has to be set up by each employer for its employees with an annual salary in excess of CHF 21,150. Pillar 2 operates according to the funding principle. This means that each insured member and their employer pay savings contributions into the employee's personal account held with the pension fund.

When insured members change job, they take this capital with them and deposit it in the pension fund of the new employer. Employee and employer pay a risk contribution to insure for benefits in the event of disability or death.

You can also learn how a pension fund works from the video in our UWP app. As with the contributions to Old-Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance, all pension fund contributions are not subject to tax.

 

Pillar 3

Pillar 3 is intended to reduce or eliminate gaps in provision from pillars 1 and 2. Increasingly, pillars 1 and 2 together are insufficient to ensure an accustomed standard of living of insured members after retirement.

Tied pension provision (pillar 3a) is offered by banks and insurance companies to close such gaps in provision. Tied pension provision can be deducted from taxable income up to a maximum amount.

On top of this there is also untied pension provision (pillar 3b) in the form of cash, bank accounts, securities, real estate and holdings etc. However, this does not enjoy any tax breaks.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to deposit my vested benefits from previous employment relationships in the new pension fund?

When starting a new job the entire vested benefits are required to be deposited in the new pension fund by law.

How is my insured salary calculated?

Your insured salary is calculated according to the pension plan in which you are insured. Contact your customer advisor or ask your employer.

What is a coordination deduction?

The coordination deduction ensures that you do not insure your salary twice, as part of your salary is already insured via pillar 1 (Old-Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance). The pension fund therefore only insures that part of your salary that is not covered by Old-Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance.

What is the purpose of a buy-in?

A buy-in serves to close gaps in provision (missing contribution or insurance years). Please refer to the buy-in form which should be completed, signed and returned to us if you wish to make a buy-in.

What should I consider when making a buy-in?

If you wish to improve your retirement provision, you first need to make sure that you make your annual payments to a pillar 3a account. While you can make such payments to the pension fund, you cannot do this retrospectively. You should also bear in mind that buy-ins to the pension fund will remain inaccessible to you over the long term. You should therefore only pay in funds that you will not need to cover your living costs in the years to come.

I made an advance withdrawal for home ownership some years ago. Can I stills make voluntary buy-ins to the pension fund?

Yes, if you have a gap in provision you can make voluntary buy-ins. However the following principle applies: first repayment, then buy-in. This means that you must first repay the amount you originally withdrew. Following repayment you can reclaim the capital payment tax paid on withdrawal. Only once you have fully repaid the advance withdrawal can you once again make buy-ins that can be deducted in full from your income tax.

How can I fund early retirement?

You can open a special account for this in your pension fund and make one-off or regular payments to this. Please contact your customer advisor for advice.

Can I withdraw my pension fund assets if I emigrate?

The current law fundamentally permits a cash payment of the pension fund assets when leaving Switzerland for good. However, a distinction must be made between mandatory and non-mandatory assets. If you move to a country with which Switzerland has a social insurance agreement that also contains provisions on occupational benefits, you can only withdraw your non-mandatory retirement assets; the rest is transferred to a vested benefits account of your choice. You will find a list of all countries with which Switzerland has a social insurance agreement at (https://www.bsv.admin.ch/bsv/de/home/sozialversicherungen/int/grundlagen-und-abkommen/sozialversicherungsabkommen.html ).

If you move to another country not on this list, you can withdraw your entire pension fund assets. Further information about cash payment when moving abroad can be found at http://www.sfbvg.ch/xml_3/internet/de/application/d3/f13.cfm

What will happen to my pension fund assets if I do not notify the pension fund?

If the pension fund receives no instructions as to where to transfer the money, it will deposit it in accordance with Art. 4 para. 2 VBA after about six months in a vested benefits account with the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution.

Can I withdraw the capital as a lump sum rather than as an annuity?

Yes. Active insured members can withdraw part or all of their capital as a lump sum on retirement rather than receiving an annuity, but please take note of the provisions on this in the pension fund regulations. The request for lump-sum payment must be communicated to UWP Collective Foundation using the applicable form no later than three months prior to retirement. Married insured members require the written approval of their spouse.

What are the pros and cons of a lump-sum withdrawal?

The advantages of a lump-sum withdrawal are:

  • Repayment of mortgage possible in order to reduce living costs
  • Financial flexibility
  • You can make your own investment decisions

The disadvantages of a lump-sum withdrawal are:

  • Capital payment tax becomes due
  • Longevity risk has to be borne by the insured member
  • Capital has to be administered and managed on your own (right up into old age)

What are the pros and cons of an annuity?

The advantages of an annuity are:

  • The pension always remains the same and is paid out for life
  • No outlay, no risk and no responsibility for safeguarding income

The disadvantages of an annuity are:

  • Must be fully declared as income for tax purposes
  • No influence on investment decisions of the pension fund
  • In case of short retirement duration, the non-used part does not pass to your estate but is credited to the pension fund (solidarity among pensioners)
     

Is my current retirement pension guaranteed?

Yes, your retirement pension is guaranteed by the OPA Guarantee Fund up to around CHF 80,000 per year.

What is a conversion rate and how is it determined?

Age Women Men
58 4.90% 4.75%
59 5.05% 4.90%
60 5.20% 5.05%
61 5.35% 5.20%
62 5.50% 5.35%
63 5.65% 5.50%
64 5.80% 5.65%
65 5.95% 5.80%

Take a look at our video in the UWP app to learn more.

Why does the capital earn less and less interest?

The payment of interest on retirement assets is based on the investment return generated by the pension fund and the fund's available reserves. The interest rate has fallen over the past 20 years and the funds have also had to spend a lot of money paying existing pensions, which has used up reserves. The interest return has therefore also fallen. However, things are not as bad as they seem for the insured members, as salaries have also risen less over these 20 years and inflation was extremely low. Therefore, the real interest on the retirement assets is still at the same level as 20 years ago when measured against salaries.

How should I proceed if I wish to make an advance withdrawal?

You can check the current status of your retirement assets at any time in the UWP app. You can complete an application for an advance withdrawal using the in-app form. 
If you have not installed the UWP app, you are welcome to request information on the amount of capital currently available and UWP will send you an application form with information documents. Following receipt of the fully and correctly completed application form with all requisite enclosures we will review your application and subsequently transfer the withdrawal sum.

What are the consequences of an advance withdrawal for home ownership on my pension fund benefits?

An advance withdrawal will result in a reduction of the retirement benefits equivalent to the amount of the advance withdrawal.

What is the procedure for registering a civil partnership?

The foundation must be notified of the existence of an eligible civil partnership in writing by the insured member using the form provided by the foundation at the earliest upon fulfilment of the eligibility conditions (civil partnership existing for at least five years or joint children). This notification must be signed by both partners and the signatures must be notarised. The relations at the time of death of the insured member are in all cases decisive for the payment of a partner's pension to the surviving partner.
Alternatively, follow the instructions in your app. This will take you through the necessary next steps.

What requirements need to be met for entitlement to a partner's pension?

According to Article 17 of the pension fund regulations, entitlement to a partner's pension from a civil partnership (including between people of the same sex) can be validly claimed by the surviving partner in the event of the death of the insured person if at the time of death all of the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • Both partners are unmarried;
  • Both partners are neither related to each other, nor is there any stepchild relationship between them;
  • The surviving partner lived continuously in cohabitation with the insured member in the same household in the last five years prior to the latter's death or
  • the surviving partner lived with the insured member in the same household at the time of death and is responsible for the maintenance of one or more joint children or
  • the surviving partner lived with the insured member in the same household at the time of death and received substantial support from the insured member

Further information can be found in our information sheet.

What needs to be submitted for a partner's pension?

Follow the instructions in your app. This will take you through the necessary next steps.

What happens with a change of beneficiary?

If payment of a partner's pension becomes due and the retirement assets saved up until the day of death are not all required for financing the pension, the difference is paid to the survivors as an additional lump-sum death benefit. If you wish this capital also to go to your partner, you are requested to notify us of this by completing the enclosed "Change of beneficiary" form. For further information, please consult the information sheet concerning changes of beneficiary.

When must incapacity to work be reported to the pension fund?

This must be reported in the event of incapacity to work due to illness of 30 days or following recurrent shorter absences due to illness during a year.
Accidents can normally be reported following 90 days' absence due to accident. Please notify us of incapacity to work using our official forms.

What is the current conversion rate for retirement pensions at UWP?

5.8%* (from 2017)
*Transitional provisions apply to existing affiliations.

How can I check whether I still have pension fund assets somewhere from previous employment relationships?

If you are not sure whether all pension fund assets from previous employment relationships have been transferred to your current pension fund, you should inquire with the Pillar 2 Central Office.

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