"Pillar 3a life insurance" stories

Hello guys,

I feel like i’m in a tough situation and need advice.

I entered switzerland few months ago, ang got contacted by a broker “mandated by the canton to help new arrivals.”
Not gonna lie I trusted it since I was new and how could it get my phone number and details ?

I openned a 3a Life Insurance through the broker, but I realized my mistake 2-3 months later, looking a bit around, I’ve seen that stopping to pay would just stop the 3a.
But broker contacted me back, mentioning if I was not paying the insurance company would sue me to debt collection office.
By short timing, and couldn’t find material until “deadline”, I paid and got warned that my 3a was back on track…

I realized I got fooled by this broker.

Now, I want to get rid of this broker and to cancel this 3a insurance life policy, I understood I will loose my money on it, but I’m fine with it.

But I’m a bit lost on how to proceed to cut from this broker, and how to cancel this 3a.
Which order ? I heard broker can ask for money, but that is not legit.

Thanks for your advice.

(post deleted by author)

Yeah, I already warned FINMA on their portal.

How to cancel it should be in your contract. Contact the provider.

(I would also let the provider know that the broker is super shady and lied to you, they might waive fees)

Ok, Thank you !

I called and I can cancel the SwissLife 3a Insurance, money on it is loss ofc, but no extra fees.
I made the paper to send.

Now, it is about the broker…
What is the legal way to cancel the brokerage mandate that I had to sign at the beginning (a mandate that was never copied to me).
I cannot find an example of letter to send about the cancellation of an insurance brokerage mandate.

Thank you to anyone that can help !

You can ask them to disclose where they got your details from, according to the new data protection law. (I’d do it and include a sentence in your letter).

That sounds straight up criminal (Nötigung). If you have that in writing, I would report that to police (out of principle).

3a is legit - but think of it as a legal framework within which commercial providers are free to offer different products (with different fee/cost structure and, yes, brokerage/referral schemes).

Thank you for your feedback

I’d like… but it was only verbal through phone call.

Interesting, I was not aware of it. I’ll mention it as soon as I get a letter.

I’d probably kindly ask them, while mentioning that you’re in touch with FINMA? It’s likely to be enough.

Btw I’d edit the title to mention the name, it might be helpful for other folks who would search about it.

I see, hoping it’s is sufficient enough

The broker company you mean ?


Yes, the broker (I guess the people who tricked you).

why delete the post?

I suspect it may be someone connected to the broker but let people have a chance to ask the poster questions and for him/ her to respond

Full disclosure: I’ve flagged that post. I don’t know if the hiding process is automated or manual, it seems to just be hidden for now.

I personally struggle to envision people registering just to defend their broker in the way that poster did. If it comes from the company itself, the approach seems very dishonest to me and probably not a very good basis for a Q&A though it might be worth it to call it out publicly and see the potential replies.


Last May, I also made the mistake of making payments into a split pillar 3a (50% Viac, 50% Generali). Now, I’m wondering whether it would be wise to make payments for the full 3 years, then put the contract on hold (freeze it), and plan to buy a house in the future, thereby accessing the money I’ve paid in? The alternative would be to cancel the contract early and accept the 100% loss.

Best regards and a thousand thanks for this fantastic forum,

I don’t think you’ll get more money out if you continue paying in (at least the money that’s gone is gone regardless of what you do now). See The Sunk Cost Fallacy - The Decision Lab

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Thank you for your response. Isn’t it legally regulated that, for example, if I build a house, I get full access to the deposited money from the pillar 3a insurance? Then it would still make sense to continue paying in up to the full 3 years, wouldn’t it? Or am I making a mistake in my thinking? Or should I cancel it right now to stop a potential loss. Best regards

Why don’t you calculate for a start 3 numbers:

  • How much have you paid already? This is your loss if you cancel now.
  • How much are you going to pay in 3 years minus the guaranteed buy-back value?
  • Same with the guaranteed conversion value?
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Forget about getting the money paid in.

We‘ve recently had this discussion on the forum (though the user suggested his wife move to Turkey to withdraw funds, instead of through the home ownership scheme). Might have been a Generali insurance too, if I’m not mistaken.

It’s not - you‘ll be getting as much as it’s „worth“ at the time of cancellation - according to your contract‘s terms and insurance plan - not what you deposited.

Prepare for a nasty surprise (loss, relative to your deposits). But consider yourself lucky for the (supposedly?) short term you’ve had that.

Edit: here you go: Closing 3a & 3b life insurance (looking for a best way)


Hello and welcome, it’s no big deal, you WILL lose ~40% of what you put in, but it sounds like it’s not too much if it was already split out to VIAC. Others found out after 2 years (like me) and others after 10.
Part of the reason to kill this is that it is likely a piss poor life insurance product (costs at most ~800/year and promises to pay out your total expected contributions if touch wood you pass, which means that for 20 years it’d pay out ~150k, while dedicated life insurance could cost 400/year and pay out 400-500k), and often a downright terrible investment product, locks you in etc etc which has been mentioned here many times over. I got burnt, many here got burnt.

It works for some people, but not to people who’re interested in making the most of their 3A.

Hi all, as many others, I was also “trapped” by Axa and stupidly just realized this year what a scam this all is. My contract is from 2016 and I have been paying the maximum amount for 8 years now and just checked what “guaranteed value” I have and it’s only about 60% of what I paid so far (paid approx. 50k, have 30k in 3a).

I called them and they said I can either just cancel and transfer the 30k to another 3a account or I can suspend / put on hold my 3a with them, leave the money there (apparently it will continue to generate interest) and do a separate 3b pillar with them (they recommended paying in 400 chf a month or so) and apparently earn up to 9% interest on 3b…I don’t believe that for a second but who knows.

Any thoughts on this? I will likely just cancel and transfer to viac or so asap and cut my losses.