Freizuegigkeitskonto [vested benefit account]

Hi Forum!

My first post here so please be gentle with me.

After seven years in Switzerland it’s time for more adventures and move t another country. With that came a question what to do with my retirement funds? o_O

As a background: I’m from Poland. Leaving for Australia. Might come back to Switzerland after two years - but cannot state the chances yet of that happening…

As much as I manged to gather there are few solutions:

  1. ‘Classic’ approach would be to open vested benefit account and leave my funds there waiting for retirement / home purchase. With the mere 0.2% interest rate this doesn’t sound too mustachian to me?

  2. Since I’m leaving EU so there is an option to withdraw my contributions (most likely via bank in Schwyz to take advantage of lower taxes) and invest them on my own in Switzerland or elsewhere. Disadvantage: if I come back to Switzerland I will be (?) required to pay the money back to the pension fund.

  3. Open a vested account that allows some sort of freedom to invest funds (like CS with an advantage of potentially higher gains; but disadvantage tha, again, if I come back - I might be forced to sell the funds on not so optimal moment when rejoining pension fund?

Has anybody of you tackled this problem? Any advice?

Many thanks for help =)

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Pretty much all swiss pension products are by far uncompetitive with low cost index funds and ETFs from the free stock market in terms of costs. You’ll be just enriching the swiss banksters.


Many thanks @hedgehog. Regarding your first question - are you sure about this one? Would be great news if that was the case!

Yes, what made you think otherwise?

Thanks again @hedgehog. Was told about it by two Swiss friends. Will try to get some more authoritative answer then :wink:

There is an obligation to repay when you do an early withdraw to finance the purchase of your own house (in CH) - Art. 30d BVG. This is enforced through making a corresponding note in the land registery - you won’t be able to sell the house without doing something about that note.

The law that grants you a right to take the money out when leaving Switzerland - Art. 5 FZG - does not say anything about obligatory repayment in this case, and I’m not aware of any other legislation to this effect either.

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What I have read somewhere is concerning the AHV/AVS. If you take out the AHV/AVS, you are not eligible to the AHV/AVS retirement. Even if you come back to Switzerland and you pay AHV/AVS again

So, this would give me some incentitive to leave switzerland, get my 2nd & 3rd pillar paid out and put it both on VT or similar?^^
then i’d only make it back here - i call it home :smiley:

You can crack 2nd and 3rd pillar open if you start your own business, even if it only lasts for a short time, so no need to leave switzerland or watch your money rot to inflation till 65. However it has to be a self-employment type of business (e.g. freelance), not your own GmbH or AG which would count as a regular employment.