Moving EU pension to CH

Hi everyone,

I’ve accumulated pension money in a EU country (one of the Nordic countries) as I was wondering if anyone knows about the possibilities to move this money to CH? The main reason is not yield, but to keep all assets in CH as I my intention is to stay here for a long time.

Last time I checked wire transfers between CH and EU worked. A 6-7 figure transfer might raise an eyebrow and prompt a phone call to confirm, but nothing serious usually if you’ve got the paper trail for the money. Just avoid using certain safe words like “Iran” or “Cuba” in your payment message and don’t split it in multiple smaller transfers, that’ll only ring more alarm bells


Yes last time I checked too. However that is not really the point. The point is that I’ve found some conflicting info if you can transfer the money that is currently part of the public pension system to CH. Some countries, the UK for example, has some solution for it but I cannot find info about the Nordic. Hi

You can’t transfer a credit for your foreign pension contributions into the local public pension system here (AHV), period. Even if you had a swiss passport or worked here you can’t, except in exceptional cases and only for last five years

But your foreign country can still pay you your pension from abroad, no problem, as long there’s a corresponding agreement and there is one with most EU/EFTA states including Norway

But if that pension is all you got and you think you can survive on it here, fat chance! You can barely survive even on full swiss public pension.

Private pensions (pillar 2) are a different matter but it’d make little sense to transfer, just cash out and invest.

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Thanks for the info. What are those exceptional cases that you mention?

Don’t worry, if you had nothing to do with Switzerland in the last 5 years they don’t concern you and you still can’t pay anything into AHV retrospectively.

I know I’m bumping an old thread, but I was trying to use the forum search to find the “closest” existing discussion about the state pension portion that I can count towards my retirement.

I’d like to share my own situation, and ask for confirmation that I’m understanding correctly how state pension payments will work. I often see very general statements about pension harmonization treaties, but I rarely see concrete info on the mechanics of how it’s calculated and who pays out.

Background: I moved from Canada to the US in 1997 for my first job, then later worked in Canada for a couple of years, then immigrated to the UK (at the time an EU country) in 2002, then immigrated to Switzerland in 2017.

I first read the EU rules on “Pensions” which stated:

Even if you have worked in several countries, you should apply for your pension in the country where you live, unless you never worked there. In the latter case, you should apply in the country where you last worked.

and which appeared to claim in its FAQ ( ) that the country where you live will supply you with a P1 summary:

You should apply for your pension in the country where you live, unless you never worked there. A “contact institution”, normally an institution of the country where you live, will take charge of the management of your pension claim.
The contact institution facilitates the exchange of information between the countries involved in your pension claim.
Once the contact institution has been notified of all the decisions from the different countries, it will send you a summary note of these decisions (a P1 document).

I assumed that because of Freedom of Movement agreements, Switzerland would adhere to this situation, so I sent into the Swiss AHV office a “318.282 - Antrag für eine Rentenvorausberechnung” (request for AVS entitlement) .

I got back the Swiss 318.282 response and it doesn’t not appear to be a P1 summary of all EU contributions in EU countries. However it did seem to take into account some EU time in its calculations: based on time spent earning in the UK since 2002 and in Switzerland since 2017 it was determined that I had 18 years of “Anwendbare Rentenskala”. The amount of Swiss state Pillar I pension it determined I would be eligible for at retirement age was “CHF 727.00 (plafonierte Rente)”. Time working in Canada and the US did not appear to count towards my Anwendbare Rentenskala.

I believe this suggests that despite Switzerland’s accords with the EU it nevertheless does not take part in the State Pension Harmonization efforts of the EU including the P1 summary and the “final state of residence” management of all state pensions.

[QUESTION 1:] Can I confirm Switzerland does not take part in this P1 summary mechanism of coordinated EU pension pay-outs?

[QUESTION 2:] Can I confirm the “CHF 727.00 (plafonierte Rente)” the Swiss AHV said it will pay out is just the Swiss portion, and not somehow a combination of Swiss and UK state pensions?

[QUESTION 3:] Can I confirm I must myself manage following up with the UK state pension authorities to pay out directly its share of my pension, the Swiss its share, the Canadians their share, etc. each independently? i.e. I should not be expecting the last EEA country I live in to coordinate and provide a single payment, correct?

When I try to sum up all the state pensions I would be entitled to having worked in Canada, US, UK and CH, I get:

Horrible text-only version:
| PER MONTH | projected CAD $ | max CAD $ | projected USD $ | max USD $ | projected GBP | max GBP | projected CHF | max CHF | Percentage of maximum per state
| Exchange rate 20-11-2020 | 0.7 | 0.7 | 0.91 | 0.91 | 1.21 | 1.21
| Canada CPP | 183.11 | 1,175.83| | | | | 128.18 | 823.081 | 15.57%
| Canada OAS | 199.6 | 614.14 | | | | | 139.72 | 429.898 | 32.50%
| US Social Security ()| | ?? | 3,011| | 2740.01 0.00%
| UK State Pension (**)| | | | | 761.81 | 761.81 | 921.79 | 921.7901 | 100.00%
| Swiss AHV | | | | | | | 727.00 | 2,370 | 30.68%
Total state pension CHF 1916.69 / month
) No answer yet from US Social Security department who are swamped because of COVID
(**) UK State Pension currently being paid into by non-resident voluntary Class 2 NIC contributions

As you can see in each country a percentage of an individual’s maximum state pension, except for the UK where I am continuing to make .

So I see I’d be entitled to a total state pension amounts of CHF 1916/month at retirement age. This is less than the maximum one could expect e.g. had one spent all one’s working life in Switzerland, but more than the maximum one could expect in Canada or the UK, so from the seat of the pants it makes sense to me given the share of time I’ve spent contributing in each system.

[QUESTION 4:] Does this combined state pension amount of CHF 1916/month sound about right?

Relevant Info:

Why don’t you ask them?
I can imagine they would not advise you on foreign pension schemes and their payouts.

But the question “does the CHF 727 figure include my UK pension - i.e. are you going to be paying out my UK pension to me - or will I receive a UK pension (if eligible) as a separate payment?” should be fairly straightforward to be answered.

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Very good question – in fact I had sent my question in to them Jan 7…

[QUESTION 2:] Can I confirm the “CHF 727.00 (plafonierte Rente)” the Swiss AHV said it will pay out is just the Swiss portion

Why don’t you ask them?

I received a telephone response from SVA-ZH today to my email query in which they confirmed that Switzerland does not – at the moment – participate in the EU state pension harmonization scheme (e.g. involving the P1 form) and that the amounts quoted in the AHV response are only those amounts payable by the Swiss state pension system.

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