What's required, what's optional?
Required: basic social security
In Switzerland, the core (first-pillar) social security system provides old-age and survivors' insurance (assurance vieillesse et survivants, or AVS), disability insurance (assurance invalidité, or AI) and loss-of-income insurance (assurance perte de gain, or APG). If you are self-employed, you have to pay all of your social-security contributions yourself.
Optional: occupational pension, individual retirement products, insurance
Self-employed people are not required to pay into an occupational (second-pillar) pension fund. But there's nothing stopping you from doing this, either.
There are also a number of individual (third-pillar) retirement products that, in addition to building up your tax-advantaged retirement savings, pay benefits in the event of disability or death.
Finally, as a self-employed person you may consider taking out professional accident insurance and/or loss-of-income insurance, particularly if you have a family.
Ignore retirement planning at your peril
Many self-employed people focus their energy on their business, and pay little heed to their retirement and disability coverage and life insurance – all of which may be woefully inadequate. If you don't shore up your second- and third-pillar coverage, you will only receive basic social security (first pillar) when you retire, and that's not enough to live on.
What additional pension coverage is available?
You can choose an individual (third-pillar) retirement product, such as a restricted Pillar 3a savings account or a life insurance policy. In general, the term "third pillar" or "Pillar 3" refers to individual retirement accounts. If you opt for life insurance, you can have disability and death benefits included in the policy.
Pillar 3b products offer coverage to supplement what’s available under the second pillar and Pillar 3a. They are more flexible than Pillar 3a policies, but they do not offer the same tax advantages. Under certain conditions, such policies also provide benefits in the event of bankruptcy.
What we offer
Epargne 3 account
A capital-guaranteed retirement savings account. It has all the tax benefits associated with retirement savings, and is not linked to life or disability insurance.
Learn more about starting a business
For more information, have a look at our page on setting up a company in Switzerland.