Poll: how many pillar 3a accounts do you have?

Here is a new poll. I am also curious how we distribute.

I mean account in the sense of a “3a unit” that you cannot split according to the law. This can be an account tied to a custody account, or even a scheme that includes insurance. Several “3a units” with the same provider are possible and should be counted each as one.

How many pillar 3a accounts do you have?
  • None
  • Just one
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • More than 5

0 voters

3 right now with 9k, 9k and 1k. Filling up the 3rd and then opening up a 4th. Goal is to have 5 with the same amount, but this will take around 5-6 years.

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Still 3 - but I have just dispatched the paperwork to reduce to 3 accounts, the goal also being to have three accounts of (roughly) the same amount.

Splitting your contributions between different accounts might create a good “habit” or be easier for tracking your portfolio performance with different strategies/funds. From a tax perspective though, it is virtually pointless, with the amounts you have at the moment.

Cashing them out in (putting them into a tax calculator, with a residency in Basel as an example), your tax savings due to lower marginal tax rate would amount to less than 10 CHF.

PS: What I am just saying is, one shouldn’t stress about or put unneccessary effort (or paperwork and postage) into keeping sub-20k accounts separate. Though it’s something I’ve also done in the past. :slightly_smiling_face:


Let’s assume I’m going to contribute for the next 30 years, so with the rising amount it will be probably close to 230k contributed. So I’ll probably end up with 100-120k per account with 5 accounts. In Pratteln (BL) it would be 5x 4’222 CHF in taxes for 110k or 38’897 CHF for 550k at once. That’s 18k in saved taxes! No matter where I end up withdrawing them. Better to have more than less.

I know it doesn’t matter now with such small amounts. But I want to to structure it in a way where I don’t have to care anymore. Best thing would be to have 5 with the same amount and split your standing order in 5.


Likewise, 3 at the moment (a bit more unbalanced, as I only had 1 until 2018), and will work up towards 5 relatively equally balanced through the next couple of years.

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I only have one 3a account at the moment because I’ve started this year to contribute ! Next year I’m opening a 2nd one and I will see if I opened a 3rd one in 2022. I don’t think to open 5 accounts, 2 or 3 accounts should be enough.

3 pilars : 2 are pledged, 1 is VIAC. Contributing since more than a decade.
I am considering to open a Finpension next year but I do not want to open the 2 remaining ones at once, let’s see how the 3a offers develop with the growing competition

2 accounts: 1 with Raiffeisen invested in their own Pension fund called futura yield which I have been contributing since nearly a decade, and newly since this year as I discovered FIRE I opened a second one with Viac. I plan to continue using Viac and maybe in a few years see if Finpension or Frankly are still around and open a 3rd one there.

Currently 10 but reducing (were 13 a year ago and should be 9 in about 6 months).

Once down at 9, it will be 5 with Viac, 3 with Frankly and a Cash Account with Credit Agricole.

This split is not from a tax point of view but to manage my overall 3a asset allocation.

Started to max my 3a about 10 years ago, only cash. Started to learn about investing about 2 years ago and to invest 1year ago. Transfered my 3a cash into viac 97% stocks 01.2020… :upside_down_face:
Will open a second one with finpension and lump 01.21

Is it possible to merge?

I feel you! Saving 10 years cash to only invest it right before a crash, talk about bad luck.

How many accounts do you have? Did you start splitting it up?

I have one account with viac and will open one with finpension. Did not know it is possible to split 3a accounts. Planed not to put any new money into viac, but will consider splitting though.

Since there are a lot of expats here, the results will be quite related with the time spent in Switzerland. If you just started to work or invest in 3a, like me, you will probably have one account. But the longer one stays the more accounts one should/will have. So I prefer to contribute in this topic with my plan.

1st two years goes into one account,
2nd two years goes into another,
3rd, 4th and 5th also go to another accounts.
So ten years with five accounts. Stay with five accounts and repeat investing until retirement.

I have one 3a with Viac at the moment.

But i’m asking myself which strategy to choose for the other ones to come.

Should i fill up the first one up to 50k and then open a second one ?


Should i open 4 of them and fill up every year the max amount on it and switch to the next one the next year and so on ? (1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4)


Should i split the amount of 6826k/4 and fill up all 4 every year ? (1706,5 in every 3a)

Do you guys have any suggestions on that part?


Nothing easier than that. It might even be harder not to merge with many providers, unless you give very explicit instructions.

Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t really matter.
Just invest in what you feel is best at the moment, while trying to keep your account balances somewhat evenly split.

In doing so, you can always correct later, though you might want to watch out for fees when transferring out early. Finpension - despite claiming having “no hidden fees” actually have one such: You pay 150 CHF if you transfer out within the first year.

Ah ok, so you can split or merge only while changing the provider (ex: viac -> finpension).

You can’t split existing 3a’s. you have to split right at the beginning by starting separate accounts.


Your last idea is clearly the best. I would strongly advise to open up all the accounts you plan on having in the end and evenly contribute to them. That way you don’t run into problems of having way too much in one account in the end.

Let’s assume someone is 30 and will pay 30 years into 3a and plans to withdraw 5 seperate accounts starting from 60. Let’s assume that he/she is investing in Global100 (or whatever) and expects 6%/year in returns.

If this person would pay 6 years into the 1st, 6 years into the 2nd etc. the end balance with 60 would be quite a difference in each account. The first would have the most time to compound, the last almost no time to compound. If we would do it like that and pay 6800/year for 6 years into each account (one after the other), you would end up with the following amounts:

  1. 206k
  2. 144k
  3. 100k
  4. 70k
  5. 49k

You end up wasting a lot of money due to paying more taxes. If you would just split it up into 5 accounts from the start, each one of them would end up with exactly the same amount, 114k each in my example (which is the same amount as those numbers combined devided by 5).

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5 accounts at 3 providers.
A bit unevenly filled due to historic reasons - for the first 10 years of my 3a contributions I didn’t know about splitting & no-one “told me” to split, my then “Berater” aka Sales Guy at CS was more interested in selling me “special investment products”. I suppose at least I didn’t have even worse luck to meet a Sales Guy from AXA or Swiss Life…
75k, 25k, 25k, 8k, 7k
(I belong to the older folk on this forum)
Since a few months I finally also have all that >=97% in stocks, which was always my aim, but took 2 years to reach due to procrastination, hesitancy, uncertainty about which ETF’s are “perfect” & attempts at market timing.

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