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OSA advice

14.01.2015 – OSA Legal Department

I would like to arrange for my second pillar vested pension benefits to be paid out. Is that possible if I live abroad ?

This depends on whether or not you live in an EU or EFTA state. A ­second pillar lump-sum payout is generally not possible for persons residing in an EU/EFTA state if they are subject to mandatory insurance against the risks of old age, invalidity and death in their country of residence. Self-employed persons can arrange a second pillar payout if their country of residence does not provide for mandatory insurance against the aforementioned risks for the self-employed.

Anyone living outside an EU or EFTA state can request the lump-sum payout of their second pillar vested pension benefits. However, it is advisable to find out whether this option is available from the pension fund at an early stage. The pension funds can refuse a cash payout if the person concerned has already reached the age at which the pension fund provides for the option of early retirement.

The second pillar capital can also be used to pay for the purchase, construction or renovation of owner-occupied property or to repay a mortgage. This also applies if the property is situated in an EU or EFTA country.

The supplementary part of the second pillar can always be paid out. However, in the event of a lump-sum payout of vested pension benefits, it is advisable to take out an insurance policy against the risks of invalidity and death.

OSA’s Legal Department provides general legal information on Swiss law, in particular in the areas that concern the Swiss Abroad. It does not provide information on foreign law and does not intervene in disputes between private parties.