Withdrawing 3a pillar when leaving Switzerland

The 6 months in one country is usally a condition to become tax resident, not the date when you become resident.

The date of becoming resident would be the date that you moved to the country.

Basyically, you are not supposed to be not tax-resident somewhere.(kind of a gap digital nomads are trying to play on - but which in my humble opinion is just bogus).

Back to the topic : if planning to move out of Switzerland for Fire, I would :
a/ cancel my work contract in advance so all payments of my old employer go through (bonus, 13th salary, etc.) I do not want to receive any payments before
b/ set up a company (already done actually in my case - got a KLG) to prove that I am self employed an can take the money out of the 2nd/3rd pillar at Swiss tax rates (this only if it is really necessary).
c/ move to the new country after all this is done - In the mean time, travel around to find the best place to live/buy/rent.

I think it is important to make a clear cut, otherwise suprises might occur.


This is correct, and also applies when you move from Switzerland to another country. You will be considered a tax resident of Switzerland for the period up until you deregistered, after which you become a tax resident of the country you register in after that. Your tax liability will be divided accordingly.

Where you are at the end of the year is of little importance for international tax liability (unlike local tax liability within Switzerland).

Ah, the bold is the key though, what it means can and does depend on the country in question. In Switzerland my understanding is that you are “settled long term” the second you submit your residence application in the Gemeinde, however in Greece where I’m from you need to spend at least 6 months abroad to even be eligible for deregistering, and then another 6 months in the country before you can reregister. During the first “blank period” you can be liable for taxes in both places…and good luck trying to reclaim any double tax paid to Greece.

Cue Greek tax evasion memes, but if one is 100% by the book like I am then they get shafted.

Sorry, I missed the notifications. I got a little bit more confused, that’s often the result when I’m trying to understand these things :joy:

So, let me recap.

  • I’m Portuguese and I will be moving back to Portugal after a while here in Switzerland (at least that’s the plan).
  • Once I do, I will ‘deregister’ from Switzerland, and register in Portugal (immediately). That’s my excuse to withdraw pillar 3a (although now I’m also interested in that company trick - how does that work exactly @Patirou ?)
  • My pillar 3a provider is Finpension, I think they’re based in Schwyz, where taxed are lower
  • Like mentioned before, when withdrawing pillar 3a, we have to pay capital withdrawal taxes here in Switzerland (before we get our money)
  • According to my accountant, that’s as far as taxes go. Taxes are paid in Switzerland, and then all I’m doing is a money transfer from one account in CH to another account in PT, and therefore, no taxes are due in Portugal

My questions are:

  1. Does anyone know how much the capital withdrawal tax rate is in Switzerland? (I expect to have between 40k and 80k max in the account) (I also still don’t fully understand what tax this is)
  2. Is my accountant right in saying no taxes are due in Portugal? I mean, he must be.
  3. Supposing he is right, I would only declare the withdrawal if the DTA says I would pay less taxes in Portugal than in Switzerland (which I doubt) - is that statement correct? And supposing he is wrong, then I have to declare it in Portugal either way.

So in your szenario, you would be tax resident in Portugal (you already moved out of the country of Switzerland to Portugal, when doing the withdrawal)

In this case, the canton where the foundation is will be responsible for levying the tax. In Schwyz, you can find the percentages here :

Now for Portugal you would have to check the Portuguese-Swiss DTA as well as Portuguese Tax law if capital payments out of pension funds are taxable in Portugal.


It would be taxable in Portugal. I believe the rate is 10% though not sure if that applies to everyone or just people coming back under the “special scheme to attract expats”.

In any case you might be better off using one of the options to withdraw it whilst you are still resident in Switzerland, depending on the applicable tax rate in your canton of residence (become self employed)

“ARTICLE 18 Pensions
Subject to the provisions of article 19, paragraph 1, pensions and other similar remuneration paid to a resident of a Contracting State in consideration of past employment shall be taxable only in that State.”