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What changes with the AHV 21 reform?

27.01.2023 – SMILLA SCHÄR, OSA LEGAL DEPARTMENT

The question: I have worked in Switzerland and many other countries outside the EU/EFTA over the past decades. Next year, I will be returning to Switzerland under a new employment contract. What impact does the AHV 21 reform have on me as a Swiss woman abroad born in 1962?

The answer: The changes introduced by the AHV 21 bill voted into law by the Swiss population in September 2022 are expected to take effect in early 2024. They apply to both mandatory and voluntary old-age and survivors’ insurance. Under the reform, the retirement age – now referred to as the ‘reference age’ – will be the same for all genders; in specific terms, this means that the reference age for women will be raised from 64 to 65. In addition, you can now retire at any age between 63 (62 for women in the transitional generation) and 70. There is also the option of drawing part of your pension in advance, or deferring it. For example, once you reach the reference age, you can keep working, at reduced hours, and draw part of your pension at the same time. These financial incentives are intended to encourage the workforce to continue working beyond the reference age. This means that you can increase your pension even after you reach the reference age, with contributions that can be deducted even from small salaries. Under certain conditions, you can also use the OASI contributions you pay after reaching the reference age to plug any gaps in contributions from the past. This prevents your pension being reduced due to missing contribution years.

The increase in the retirement age for women will occur progressively. One year after the changes have come into effect, the reference age will increase by three months every year, until it finally reaches 65. If the changes come into effect in early 2024 as planned, your personal reference age will become 64 years and six months. Compensatory measures are planned for women who are already on the verge of retiring and therefore cannot plan their pensions to take account of the changes. The transitional generation will probably include those born between 1961 and 1969, so you will also qualify for these compensatory measures. If you decide not to draw your pension early and to wait until you are 64 years and six months of age before retiring, you will thus receive a supplement to your pension for the rest of your life. If, on the other hand, you decide to retire earlier, lower reduction percentages will apply. The exact amount of the supplement or the reduction percentage will depend on the year of your birth and your average income. You can calculate them on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office.

Further information in German, French, Italian: Federal Social Insurance Office | www.revue.ch/65

OSA Legal Department, info@swisscommunity.org

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