I think the main downside is the 3 year lockout period during which your money only earns 1%. And also you only earn the saved interest on the mortgage you pay off instead of potentially having it invested in the stock market (unless you have to pay that anyway).
Have you already withdrawn money from pillar 2 when you bought the house? If so, buying into pillar 2 is not tax deductible until the previous withdrawal is paid back into pillar 2.
I assume you mean the mortgage with ‘pay back’. Yes, the full amount that you withdraw from pillar 2 has to be used for your primary home. It doesn’t matter whether the money came from the mandatory BVG or the “Überobligatorium”. And there is nothing beyond the “Überobligatorium” (ignoring 1e). Voluntary buy-in capital is treated the same as “Überobligatorium” accumulated from regular contributions.
The potential tax savings are the primary factor in determining whether or not contributing to your pension fund with the goal of eventually withdrawing the money to finance your home makes financial sense. Those vary depending on your place of residence, civil status, and income.
Step 1: Calculate the potential tax savings Step 2: Calculate other potential savings that could result from a lower taxable income (health insurance premium reductions, scholarships, etc.) Step 3: Calculate the total interest you would earn from your pension on the voluntary contribution. Step 4: Calculate the capital withdrawal tax you would pay when you withdraw the benefits to finance your home. Step 5: Compare the potential savings plus interest (steps 1, 2, and 3) with the capital withdrawal tax to find the real return. Step 6: Compare the real return with the potential returns you could get with other fixed-income investments (e.g. bonds, medium-term notes) outside of the pillar 2. If the real return achieved by contributing to your pension fund is higher than the potential return you could achieve with other fixed-income investments, than contributing to your pension fund makes more financial sense.
I would completely disregard non-fixed investments like stocks, ETFs, etc. because for that short investment term (3-years), the risk of making a loss is high.
Of course, there is also the option of using the money to pay off your mortgage immediately. In that case you have to compare the real return of using the pillar 2 with the amount you would save on interest charges by lowering your mortgage. Income and wealth taxes would also play a role here (lower deductions for interest and debt).
Some pension funds give you the option of pledging your pillar 2 assets towards financing your home instead of withdrawing them. If I’m not wrong, the 3-year waiting period does not apply in that case, because the money isn’t actually withdrawn. It may be worth checking whether your pension fund has that option.
I always wondered whether it meant calendar year or not? The wroding just says years, but since taxes are done on a calendar years basis, it wouldn’t surprise me if the tax authorities tried to interpret it as calendar years.
I wondered if this was ever disputed in court and clarified that way.
Haven’t looked at it, but my understanding is that 3 years rule is not a some kind of law, but an internal rule of the tax office. So, they are free to interpret it as much as they want until challenged in a court.
There are years where you can forecast that the pension fund will grant you a very high interest rate. In these scenarios, it makes sense to pay early. Example: I paid a decent amount in June '21, as I could already by then forecast that our pension fund would easily yield 4+%. Meaning that my buy-in got 4% from June to Dec '21.
This is another year where you can anticipate pension funds to pay in the range of 2.5% to 3.5% - hence, it would be a good idea to pay early…
MOST Pension Funds grant interest (on voluntary contributions) already from the day you made the payment.