"Pillar 3a life insurance" stories

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.

Maybe check what the repurchase value in two years will be. Sometimes the first ten years are the hardest to get out.
There is also the possibility to keep paying it. There are certain circumstances in life, where this insurance is not completely useless. If you have health issues and you expect you have to quit working within the next ten years, for example.
If you stop paying you usually lose the insurances coming with it as well. You need to read the General terms and conditions. If the insurance is discontinued, you can as well cut your losses and go to Viac with the money.

thanks for your reply, I made a comparison with what I paid / will pay against the purchase value for every year until my pension and the discrepancy is getting bigger by the year.
Also, I am healthy in my early 30s and don’t see the point of having a life insurance, and also read that even if I were to have one, it’d be better to have it separated from 3a.

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I belive you should cancel it ASAP and transfer the remaining to an online 3a (like VIAC, FinPension …).
Even if you lose 40% and they will promote the fact you’ll earn some money after x years, it won’t be as good as if you invested on ETF with low fees.

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From what I have seen and experienced myself, “take the loss and move on” is the way to go.
These products should be banned, but it seems the situation is beneficial for some, maybe they have friends in the right places.

Just for the heads up: You are not alone. 9 Years here.
What for me is a bit the question is where to find a replacement (separate) Erwerbsunfähigkeits/Disability insurance, not linked to a life insurance (I have no need for that).

Not playing devil’s advocate, I’ve been burnt by this too and lost 1 year’s contributions getting out, but I still believe they are better than nothing for those who don’t want to think much about it or optimise it. That’s most people. Hell in fact most people don’t even go with any invested 3A, they just take their bank’s 3A with 1% interest, claim the tax benefits and ride happily into the sunset.

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This should be offered by various insurance companies. You just have to make sure you get exactly what you want (pure risk). VIAC Life may be a good option (you can choose to insure risk of disability instead of risk of death) but it’s limited to a lump-sum payment of up to CHF 300k. Zurich offers an online calculator where the payout is an annuity until retirement age: Disability Insurance - Calculate online now | Zurich Switzerland. Mobiliar offers such an insurance as well and probably various other insurance companies.

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I think a simple 3a bank account with interests is better than these obscure products. In my case it would have been drastically better.


Thanks Jay! For obvious reason, it is not a question I want to ask my current/previous insurance broker…