3a capital protection

Hi everyone.
I just joined because I’m searching for answers. I am currently with VIAC for my 3a.

I had a meeting with a financial planner today based on a recommendation from friends.

We walked through a lot and then he suggested that I look into changing my 3a Pilar with VIAC. He spoke about banks being one end of the spectrum with no growth to places like VIAC where there is low fees but slow growth of 5-7%.
He moved onto a 3rd option which he said is a capital protection with high fees and strong growth of 8-12%. The other advantage was being able to move my 3a if I decide to leave Switzerland and not have to withdraw the whole thing.

Now I’m not well versed in this. I follow MP and based on his recommendations of a good 3a pillar VIAC was my choice.

I don’t plan on changing. But I want to know more. What is a capital protection 3a and does it consistently result in a high yield.
What am I missing? There has to be a catch- some hidden fees or a massive chunk of my money gone when I retire or 12% is just the carrot he is dangling?

Does anyone know or can you shed more light on this for me?


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This guy clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about. VIAC works together with a bank called WIR bank. No growth is when you just put the money in a 3a savings account.

5-7% is also not slow growth, 7% leads to doubling your wealth approx. every 10 years.

There are basically 2 options, either you have 3a with a bank, where you can put the money in a savings account (almost 0% interest) or invest it in funds (like you do with VIAC), or you have it with an insurance, which is not recommended as you pay a lot of fees, there’s many posts about people that fell into this trap here in the forum.

Do you know the name of the product or which company offers this product? For me this sounds like an insurance 3a with an expensive cost structure. Capital protection and high growth is not possible, either one or the other. Just think about it, if this were possible, everyone would be doing it. Also in current times of weak markets, it’s pretty bold to state 8-12% returns, even in normal times, a consistent performance of 8-12% would be outperforming the markets, which only very few people are able to do for an extended period.

Capital protection is normally achieved with structured products. For the protection of capital, you sacrifice part of the return of the underlying security and pay the fees for call/put options on the same securities with it. See this product as an example, there’s some explanation about the core principle → SIX Structured Products


Most probably the high fees.

Well, it’s both possible. Just not on the same part of your capital.

I mean, that’s how most of these products with a guaranteed payout work, don’t they? They invest the biggest part of your contributions into low-risk, low-return (and often high-fee) investments to guarantee a certain payout - and only a small part at equity market returns.

  • 10% returns AND
  • capital protection AND
  • adhering to the investment rules set by the law on such tax-advantaged 3a accounts/products?

:point_right: Basically sounds like a scam.

I’m not saying that capital-protected products are necessarily and always bad as a 3a investment (depending on your personal situation and risk tolerance). But with 10% returns? No way. Wouldn’t touch that with a 10 feet pole.


High fees are guaranteed, high growth isn’t. There is no such thing as high growth without high risk so that’s another thing to take into account. Also, as @Burningstone has stated, 5-7% is no slow growth.

Sounds scammy to me. I’d be curious to know the name of the actual product. I’d also be interested to know if the financial planner who touted it to you would be willing to put his signature on a document stating that if the minimal returns of at least 8% are not met, he would compensate you for the difference (so as to justify the fees).


I also agree that this sounds like promised returns are made under ridiculous assumptions. Be very careful! What no one has said yet: Since this part sounds scammy, please be extra careful with all other topics the planner talks about. If they are willing to suggest (potentially) shit products in one area they may also not have your best interest as a priority in other areas of their ‘planning’.


Yes, they will promise you sky in diamonds, but what you should look at is the guaranteed value. It was already noted, and not only in this forum where people are particularly abhorrent to 3a mixed insurances, that these products assume extremely unrealistic expectations for future returns.

So, what is the guaranteed return of that product? Let me guess: 0.05% p.a. after 40 years, -100% after one year and something in-between in-between.


Good morning everyone!
This is really good. I’m glad I took the time to write this. I am also skeptical but since I’m a newbie to such I felt I needed to check what it all means and now I have confirmation that this seems unrealistic esp with the financial climate.

I asked my friend who is using them and she said they suggested AXA to her for her 3a. I also asked if he mentioned a 12% growth and other options that would be good for her.

I will stick with my VIAC and watch it grow!

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Yes, ask also how much extra she had got so far. My guess: 0.

Imho you should helpl your friend to get out of that as fast as possible. Not because of AXA in particular, but because of the salesman.


I had a meeting with a financial planner today based on a recommendation from friends

Sounds like you need to get new, better friends if they are willing to sell you to some borderline-scammer.


Unfortunately if you don’t know and you have no additional information to support your knowledge it’s hard to know what’s best. If I didn’t have some knowledge about investing I’m sure I would have fallen for the shiny 8-12% growth.
All this information has really been useful. Im trying to get my friend to share with me the documents with all her information. Im really curious to know more of what she has been told.