Max number of 3A accounts in Geneva

Some people mentioned that it’s possible to have maximum 5 3A accounts in their canton but I just can’t find this info online for Geneva. I have found an article saying that there is no limit for account numbers.

“Il n’y a d’ailleurs aucune restriction quant au nombre maximum de comptes 3a pouvant être ouverts.”éal&text=À%20partir%20d’un%20avoir,personne%20représentent%20une%20bonne%20solution.

So where does their claim come from? is there any link? thanks

Has anyone ever claimed you’re not allowed to have more than five accounts?

Or did they claim that the tax authority will limit privileged taxation to a certain number of accounts upon closure and withdrawal?

All the accounts you close in a fiscal year will be added for the taxes. You can open 10 accounts, and close them two by two. It is totally legal, but you will pay the same taxes as if you had 5 accounts.

You can start to cash out your 3A 5 years prior to retirement age (i.e. starting 60 years old for men). That’s why we read a lot about having 5 accounts.

By having 5 accounts, you close one account/year from 60 to 65 and break the progressive tax rate.

All 3A come due at 65 years old unless you’re still employed. Then you can cash out until 70 years old at the latest.

You will find further information here
I recommend the reading of the circulaire 18 “Imposition des cotisations et des prestations du pilier 3a”.


Interesting article here :

Ainsi, dans le canton de Vaud, on tolère la création de deux comptes de 3e pilier au maximum. «Au-delà, nous examinons la question de l’évasion fiscale, indique Pierre Curchod, responsable de la division juridique au Département des finances auquel est rattachée l’Administration cantonale des impôts. En effet, nous pouvons supposer que la création de multiples comptes, en soi plus compliquée que le recours à un compte unique, n’a en règle générale pas d’autre objectif que d’obtenir des allégements fiscaux.»

Thanks, but for now I would continue to advise to open 5 account and merge them if the time come.
The law can change or you can move to an other canton in the future. (Most people are quite young on this forum :slight_smile: )

Yep sure ! Any treshold you apply in order to choose to open the next account ?

Open a new one each year from now on and fill them up in a round robin fashion (or pay into the one with the lowest amount).
Or pay 1/5th into each as some others do, but then you need 5 paper attachments for the taxes.
I don’t bother with that.

I have 3 with VIAC thus far, but will probably try out finpension for 2021.
When I reach 5, I continue paying into the one with the lowest amount that year.

I’ve read it and also find it interesting, but it’s from 2011 and I wondered if it was still the case these days.

But I couldn’t find any concrete updated proof of this…

Here is two of my post about the limitation in the Canton of Vaud. To sum up :

  • You can have 5 accounts.
  • Currently we don’t know if withdrawing said accounts over 5 years can be considered as “tax evasion” because you have to declare it in your tax declaration. So you’re just trying to optimize your situation which is not legaly forbidden.
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Thanks, isn’t it their job to confirm if what you described is legal?

It is likely not strictly defined by law - and as such open to interpretation. Which may change a bit over time. And also depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Understandably, no one is going to stick his neck out and explicitly confirm that something is legal or not.

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So best is to open 5 accounts and ask when retirement is here…

Anyway what happens worst case? I’d be surprised if there’s any penalty, you might just pay the higher marginal tax rate.

I’ve written to the administration in Neuchatel, if they really considering having more than 2 account a tax evasion, and they say that it’s no more the case.

here the mail:


Interesting how their answer is crystal clear instead of the answer from the Canton of Vaud. As I thought, there is no reason to consider multiple 3a account and multiple withdrawal as a tax evasion in Switzerland as the loss for the Canton is peanut…

Im a financial advisor and there is actually no limit on the number of 3A you can open… But the point here is does it worth it… Normally i suggest having 2 and max 3 3A

Didn’t someone do the math and assumed full 3a payment every year invested 100% into stocks and came to the conclusion that 5 accounts was the optimum for compounding interest and tax? I can’t remember it clearly though and am not sure if it was on this forum.

It will always depends on the fees of maintaining several accounts… But you can take out your investments starting 5 years before retirement and having 5 accounts allow you to ta take out 1 every year. This doesnt work will 3a with insurance coverage since the fees per account are usually higher and splitting in more than 3 accounts can be less interesting

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5 accounts will optimise your exit tax when cashing them out close to retirement.
You could read this thread

or the blog article of Mustachian Post on the subject.

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