Age year

Are you at war with the term “age year”? Then it’s not you, but rather the fact that the term “age year” is used differently in the Federal Law on Occupational Retirement, Survivors’ and Disability Pension Plans (BVG).

First we look at the definition of the entry age:

From 1 January after reaching the age of 17, you are insured for the risks of death and disability under the BVG, and from 1 January after reaching the age of 24 for old age (savings contributions), in both cases provided you reach the BVG minimum wage of CHF 21’330 (translated from German).

Art. 7 BVG

It is unclear why the legislator uses the term “age year” here and, by the way, also in the AHV Act. In my opinion, however, it is certainly not the “age year” that is used, but the year of life. The first year of life begins with birth and ends before the first birthday. According to this, you turn 24 after you reach the age of 24, which means you celebrate your 24th birthday. From the following 1 January onwards, savings contributions are paid for the first time.

In the table of statutory savings contributions (old-age credits), the term “age year” is more appropriate, but it is not without explanation. With the age year indicated, the full year from 1 January to 31 December is meant, during which one celebrates the corresponding birthday:

Age year 25–34 = 7 %*

Age year 35–44 = 10 %*

Age year 45–54 = 15 %*

Age year 55–65 = 18 %*

Art. 16 BVG

Example: If you turn 25 on 12 April 2020, you will pay savings contributions of 7 percent from 1 January 2020.

So the whole thing makes sense and the two definitions lead to the same result:

  • Definition 1: From 1 January after the completion of the 24th year of age…
  • Definition 2: In the year you turn 25, you pay from January 1…

Note: In the year when you retire, you only pay until the end of the month in which you turn 64 (women) or 65 (men). From the first day of the following month, you are retired and no longer pay contributions payments.