The regular retirement age in Switzerland is 65 years for men and 64 years for women. The pension entitlement arises on the first day of the month following the 65th or 64th birthday. This rule is laid down in the law on AHV. It is also applicable to the occupational pension scheme (BVG) and the third pillar. In addition, there are advance withdrawal and deferral options which influence the period during which the pension benefits are drawn.
Note: The legislator uses the German term “Altersjahr”. However, this term is very confusing, as one might think that it refers to the year during which one has the corresponding age. But the legislator meant the year of life, which is why we are talking about the year of life here.
1st pillar: AHV pensions (- 2 years / + 5 years)
The AHV pension can be drawn one or two years in advance:
- Men: on the first day of the month following the age of 64 or 63
- Women: on the first day of the month following the age of 63 or 62
The AHV pension can also be postponed, for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years. After one year, the AHV pension can be drawn at any time at the beginning of a given month.
2nd pillar: Pension fund assets (58 – 70 years)
Pension funds may provide for early retirement in their regulations. At the earliest at the age of 58, they can allow their insured, whether male or female, to retire. Furthermore, the regulations may allow the pension plan to continue until the end of employment, but no later than 70.
2nd pillar: Vested benefits (+/- 5 years)
Vested benefits can be drawn at the earliest five years before and at the latest five years after reaching the regular retirement age. Exceptions are the standard early withdrawal options, such as the purchase of a residential property. In the case of postponement beyond the normal retirement age, there is no condition for the continuation of employment.
Pillar 3: restricted pension plan 3a (+/- 5 years)
3a assets may be paid out at the earliest five years before the normal retirement age. If employment is continued beyond the normal retirement age, withdrawal may be postponed by a maximum of five years.