Alternatives to VIAC?

Hello everyone,

Thanks to this forum, I got to know VIAC.
I really liked the idea that you can put up your own strategy/portfolio and almost trade it yourself. It’s much better than bank solutions where you only have a few choices plus high fees.

Is there any other alternatives or is this the one? I’m about to switch to VIAC :smiley:
My banker is not happy. :smiley:

I like Finpension more than VIAC. There is also Frankly but I like it less than the other two.

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Thanks @Patron
Can you elaborate shortly on why you prefer Finpension over VIAC?
Can you also allocate ETF and define investment strategy at will like VIAC? Costs compared to VIAC? Thanks in advance!

I guess it’s mostly personal preference. I think all 3 of those products are very good. I’m just not such a big fan of the WIR Bank concept and its alternative currency etc.

Yes you can use predefined strategies or create your own allocations out of a set of CS mutual funds (cash, money market, bonds, equity, real estate and gold as far as I remember). The full list is available here:

https://finpension.ch/en/3a/strategies/index-tools/

You can combine these and create your own strategy.

Last time I checked Finpension was a bit cheaper if you go 100% equity, in other cases VIAC is a bit cheaper but that may have changed in the meantime.

I suggest to checkout both products / websites and also the forum as there are some posts about VIAC / Finpension / Frankly.

Appreciate it! I took a quick look at the list. They only provide CS funds. I don’t know how good the performance is. I generally don’t like UBS and CS funds. If there is no difference in terms of tracking i.e. SP500 index, I don’t see why not. If there is a difference, I’d still prefer SPY.

However, the TER looks really good on those funds. A majority of them has 0% fees.

Both finpension and Viac mainly use CS index funds. The majority of the fund fees is covered by the all-in-fee of finpension/Viac, which is the reason why the fund-internal TER can be zero or very low. As far as I can tell, the CS index funds are generally very reasonable. And some are optimized for pension funds (no or reduced withholding taxes).

The Viac list is at the bottom of this page: Pillar 3a: Strategies – VIAC

My general recommendation is to go to finpension for maximum stock (or real estate) allocation and go to Viac if you want to keep a cash allocation because safe CHF bonds currently have a worse expected yield than cash. finpension doesn’t allow a cash allocation above 1%. On the other hand Viac requires at least 40% of each portfolio to be in CHF funds.

I’m at Viac myself.

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Finpension and VIAC are currently the way to go (if you ask me). But the whole 3a/vested account market is changing every day.

For instance - if I am right - Finpension has no “features” like VIAC (e.g. access to mortgages, life/death policies etc.) but is a bit cheaper than VIAC.

To be very honest, in the end there is nearly no difference - both are very competitive. It is more relevant if you will leave Switzerland one day. Then I would have Finpension since the withdrawal will be taxed in SZ and not in BS like at VIAC.

(I am with VIAC and not changing currently, since the whole 3a/vested market changes everyday and I do not want to switch several times).

VIAC has iShares which is also interesting. Finpension only has CS funds. What do you mean with all-in-fee scheme? Are you saying that the “actual” fees are included in the fund so the TER can be zero? I am not sure how those passive funds with 0 TER earn money. The reimbursement needs to come from somewhere. 0 TER is kinda disleading in this sense.

Good to know! What does this withdrawal canton mean exactly? You’re saying that Finpension withdrawal will be taxed by SZ tax rate when you withdraw the fund? Is that really so? I thought you pay income tax based on your residential location.

This is relevant to me as I might leave Switzerland one day.

Viac charges 0.52% p.a. on the invested capital, capped at 0.44% p.a. for the whole portfolio. A part of that goes to Credit Suisse as fund manager and custody bank. In return Viac gets access to zero-rated fees with 0% TER or close to it. That’s part of their cooperation. The same applies to finpension with slightly different numbers.

The details don’t matter that much for us. The relevant fee to compare is the sum of the Viac all-in-fee + the fund fee (for those funds that don’t have 0% TER).

If you choose an ETF at Viac, you don’t benefit from the zero-rated CSIF fund and buying/selling will impose stamp duty tax. You also lose out on the dividend tax benefits of CSIF pension funds. I.e. the CSIF funds are generally more cost-efficient in this setup. I would only choose an ETF at Viac if I had a very strong reason to prefer that ETF.

I know for a fact that selling or buying UBS Vitainvest won’t result in a fee charge as it is probably their own fund.

CSIF looks then beneficial in terms of fees and stamp duty tax cuz they are for “pension”.
Still, it all comes down to performance. Do I trust SPY more than CSIF? Yes, I do. If the ETF outperforms CSIF in long-term, it will compensate for the loss in fees and so on.

My bad sorry.
You are taxed at the location where you currently live.

You can see the comparison on this website: Finpension, Viac, Frankly comparison – FiCompare

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If you still reside in Switzerland at the time of withdrawing your 3a, you will pay that tax in the canton of your residence. If however you have left Switzerland already that tax will be levied at the canton of the 3a provider, which in the case of canton Schwyz is relatively low.

What will make the second case more complex however is how your destination country will treat it taxwise. If you get taxed in your destination country, which you might since you will be resident there already, and there is a double taxation agreement between CH and your destination country, the CH tax may be claimed back. In that case it probably doesn’t really matter anymore in which canton you were taxed.

There are some other threads that discuss this too, there’s a fair bit of complexity depending on what country you are emigrating to.

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Hi there,
I have opened accounts with both Viac and Finpension. I slightly tend towards Finpension but that’s really a matter of taste.
As others have stated, differences are not that significant: Both belong to the cheapest 3a offerings available.
I don’t put a lot of thought in my allocation there, I basically mirror my ex-3a allocation with the maximum allowed stock allocation (93% / 97%). Real Estate, commodities or similar non-stock options are not important to me.
Therefore, as they say, your mileage may vary. If you’re into ESG / SRI offerings: Both Viac and Finpension offer ESG funds, but slight differences exist.

Cheers, J.

Edit: Some typos fixed.

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