The Pillar 3a Tutorial

Yes, also 0.67% marginal rate in Basel, from 400k on. Not invisible!

I have tried to find this explicitely somewhere, but I couldn’t find it:
does this mean that capital gain in 3a is taxed (through the Kapitalauszahlung) !?
It would mean that this is the only account where capital gains are taxed (even slightly).

It’s a pre-tax account, so yes any withdrawal is taxed (but it grows tax free).

As long as your marginal tax rate is higher than the capital distribution rate you’ll come out ahead.

Additionally, as long as it is locked in 3a, you don‘t pay any wealth tax on it. Using the 0.67% marginal tax rate you mentioned, this will be 20% over 30 years as well (and I didn‘t include compounding interest on these saved taxes).

« As long as your marginal tax rate is higher than the capital distribution rate you’ll come out ahead. »

…or if you plan to withdraw it when leaving the country, the tax rate that may be payable in the destination country.

Adding since many 3P providers advertise this option

I’ve transferred 3a to PostFinance 3a from a Postfinance account on the 30th Dec.

According to PF the last day of inpayment possible was 29th Dec - so the money has been collected on the checking side, but hasn’t appeared on the 3a side, even though it’s the same institution, it should('ve been) instant.

Does anyone know what happens next? :thinking:


Maybe count as 2022 contribution?

I guess we’ll see on Monday.


Hi @alex_adc ,

If it still helps, I described this in my FAQs about the 3rd pillar, here:

The short answer: with banks you’re safe. With insurances you will lose money. How much is case-dependent. So choose your second-best option, see how much financial benefit it’d bring you, then call your insurance and figure out if it’s worth the loss. You might also be able to negotiate better conditions with your insurance by threatening to quit with the new vendor’s conditions in hand.

As of 2022, my favorite vendor is still Viac. I filter by sustainability too, and describe details in my comparison of sustainable Pillar 3.

I’m also having a big question about 3a. I done some math, and globally it’s 6800chf that you don’t pay tax on, meaning between 1500 and 2500 economy.
But I see nobody arguing that having that money fseely availible can lead to more money at the end of the journey.
In exemple, having your 6800chf 3a sitting on etf with 7% yield means less value, than having 4’800 chf invested in a 10% yield immo project, already after 14 years. And it’s without the taxes of getting the money from 3a.

Is my calculation based on wrong assumptions ? Or is this really a thing. ?

If you think you’ll have better returns than equity, then yes investing in that might be better. (Though given how risky equity already is, it seems a bit far fetched)


I think nothing beats a garantued one-time 25% return and an expexted yearly return of 7%.

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Wouldn’t an expected yearly return of 10% beat that?

Yes but is there such a thing?

Plus of course “risk-adjusted”

At least sp00t said so, didn’t he? :wink:

You also (potentially) save on wealth tax with Pillar 3a.

Aside from that, yes. In theory, if you outperform the allocation you would have in 3a consistently, through compounding you would eventually catch up.

However, if it’s a good idea to make such high risk investments for your retirement savings AND if you will be self-disciplined enough not to spend the money on a Porsche is another question. :slight_smile:


The calculation seems right, the only thing is that the assumption of 10% yield from real estate investments seems extremely optimistic.


As an actuary, I can attest to the (relatively trivial) fact that your expectations (and hence your decision-making) are heavily dependent on your selection of assumptions!

So I think your mathematical reasoning is sound. Ultimately though, those are standard modelling issues. Indeed, as other users have pointed out, it’s about trying to think of all the variables that might affect your outcome (e.g. expected return of your 3a asset allocation, expected return of your post-tax investment(s), investment horizon until your retirement/departure from CH, marginal tax rate, dividend/capital gain proportion, lump sum tax rate, etc.), and then making assumptions about those—the hard part!

Actually, I had once shared a small spreadsheet here that I use to determine whether a contribution in the second pillar (or in the third pillar, it’s the same concept) is worthwhile. Here it is again:

The spreadsheet is pretty simple, and can probably be improved tenfold, but I think it gets the job done. Indeed, its objective is merely to determine whether making a contribution into the 2nd/3rd pillar could be advantageous or not, taking into account all the major variables that I could think of. As mentioned before, its heavily dependent on assumptions though, so make sure to plug in your own! (convention: input is in blue, calculated fields in black).

That being said, one critical aspect that is NOT modelled here is risk (or volatility). Indeed, as other users have pointed out, a 10% return is likely to have a higher volatility, so that should be taken into account in your decision-making as well. In any case, that would require stochastic modelling (with even more assumptions!), so beyond the scope of this little tool :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Optimize my finances before leaving for Spain