The AHV (Social Security) pension is intended to provide the insured person with financial security following retirement. Retirement age in Switzerland is 64 for women and 65 for men. The AHV bereavement pensions (Hinterlassenenrenten) ensure that surviving spouses and children are not faced with financial crises following the death of the family’s breadwinner.
All employed persons living in Switzerland are obliged to pay AHV premiums from 18 years of age. The premiums consist of a monthly deduction from the employee’s pay and contributions from the employer, the canton, and the federal government.
+ ch.ch - important addresses regarding the AHV
For further questions you can consult the AHV branch office (AHV-Zweigstelle) or the Compensation Office (Ausgleichskasse) in Lucerne:
AHV-Zweigstelle Stadt Luzern,
Obergrundstrasse 1, 6002 Luzern
Telephone: +41 (0)41 208 81 11, Telefax: +41 (0)41 208 88 14
Würzenbachstr. 8, Postfach, 6000 Luzern 15
Telephone: +41 (0)41 375 05 05, Telefax: +41 (0)41 375 05 00
Web: Ausgleichskasse Luzern
The IV is another important type of social insurance in Switzerland, similar to the AHV. A person is considered to be disabled if he or she is unable to work permanently or for a prolonged period due to a physical, psychological, or mental disorder.
+ ch.ch - further information on disability insurance
The contact address for questions regarding disability insurance is the IV-Stelle for the canton of Lucerne:
Landenbergstrasse 35, Postfach, 6002 Luzern
Telephone: +41 (0)41 369 05 00, Telefax: +41 (0)41 369 07 77
Your accident insurance covers the costs of medical treatment after an accident. In addition, it will provide a daily payment (Taggeld) if you are temporarily unable to work or a pension if you have a long-term disability.
+ ch.ch - For general questions on accident insurance
+ ch.ch - What you need to know if you have an accident
+ ch.ch - If you are disabled and unable to work
Everyone who is an employed wage-earner, in other words, recieves a salary, has unemployment insurance (ALV). The insurance premium is deducted directly from the salary and is shown on the pay statement. The ALV pays the insured person compensation in case of job loss, reduced work, weather-related loss of work, and if the employer is unable to provide wages.
In order to receive unemployment compensation, you must apply to the Regional Employment Exchange (Regionales Arbeitsvermittlungszentrum, RAV). If possible, this should be done before you actually become unemployed. If you do not yet have unemployment insurance, the RAV will take care of it.
Every person living in Switzerland must have health insurance. The health insurance covers the costs in case of illness, maternity, or accident. The so-called basic insurance coverage (Grundversicherung) is mandatory. People can select any insurance company of their choice. Please note: Dental appointments are not covered by the basic insurance
+ ch.ch - Information regarding health insurance providers
+ Compare offers from different health insurance providers
The AHV (social security) pension can be supplemented by means of the 2. Säule (“second pillar”), or job-related pension. This income, together with the AHV pension, aims to enable retired, disabled, or bereaved persons to maintain their usual standard of living. Like the AHV, all employed persons with an annual income of approximately CHF 21‘000 are enrolled in a mandatory pension plan. Self-employed persons are not required to join a pension plan, but may do so voluntarily.
You can find further information on pension plans here:
Bundesamt für Sozialversicherungen
In addition to the mandatory AHV and 2. Säule, it is also possible to save money for retirement in a private retirement account, or 3. Säule („third pillar“). These accounts are voluntary.
Employees who are already contributing to the AHV and job-related pension funds can put almost CHF 7,000 per year (the amount varies by year) into their private retirement account and deduct this amount from their taxable income. Self-employed persons can pay in up to 20 percent of their annual income; this amount is also tax-deductible. The 3. Säule is thus the most important type of pension plan for self-employed persons.
+ ch.ch - Information on the 3. Säule
You can find the allowed annual payment amount and further information on the 3. Säule here:
+ Bundesamt für Sozialversicherungen
Swiss law requires the provision of maternity insurance: This means that working mothers are entitled to 14 weeks of paid leave following the delivery of their child. They receive 80 percent of their average prenatal salary (also called maternity compensation or maternity leave), or a maximum of CHF 196 per day. There is no compulsory paternity leave in Switzerland, however, some employers allow fathers to take several weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child.
Further information can be obtained from your employer or on the website ch.ch:
+ ch.ch - Maternity leave
Information on maternity compensation and protection of female employees during pregnancy:
+ Federal Department of Social Services
All employed and self-employed persons receive a family allowance for each child:
In Lucerne, unemployed persons are also entitled to receive a family allowance provided their annual income does not exceed CHF 42,300.
+ ch.ch - Family allowances
+ Children's allowances in the city of Lucerne