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Retirement abroad

When they reach retirement age, some Swiss citizens decide to live abroad. On the other hand, migrants who come to work in Switzerland often prefer to return to their country of origin after having ceased their occupational activity.

AHV pension

You are a Swiss national or from an EU or EFTA member state

You have the right, subject to a small number of exceptions, to receive your AHV pension abroad. Before leaving Switzerland, you must announce your departure to your compensation office (see link below) which will then forward your application to the Swiss Compensation Fund in Geneva. Recipients of AHV benefits freely choose their payment address (in Switzerland or abroad). AHV benefits are generally paid to recipients residing abroad in the national currency of their country of residence.

If you receive an invalidity allowance or supplementary benefits, you lose the right to these benefits by moving abroad. These benefits are only granted to persons domiciled and resident in Switzerland.

Since the entry into force of the bilateral agreements, Swiss pre-retirees domiciled in the EU are no longer able to make voluntary contributions to the AHV and therefore only receive a partial AHV pension. A gap in contributions of a year generally leads to a 2.3% decrease of the pension.

For more information, click on the link below: “How to retire abroad”.

Notice of departure – how to identify and contact your compensation office

How to retire abroad

Foreign nationals from other countries

If you are a citizen from a country with which Switzerland has concluded a social security agreement (Australia, San Marino, Canada, Israel, Japan, Turkey, Chile, Macedonia, USA, Philippines, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Uruguay), you can receive your AHV pension abroad.

If this is not the case, no pension will be paid once you leave Switzerland and settle abroad. However, you may, under certain conditions (see link below), obtain the reimbursement of your AHV contributions without interest after your final departure from Switzerland.

Please refer to the brochure below for your rights and the steps to take in different situations.

Brochure: “Swiss social insurance system: Sojourn in Switzerland and departure, Information for foreign nationals”

Reimbursement of contributions

Occupational pension

Your occupational pension scheme (2nd pillar/Occupational Old Age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Pension Provision BVG) can be paid abroad. Contact your pension scheme to find out what you need to do and to provide your new home address. If necessary, your employer can provide you with the pension scheme’s contact information.

Private pension (3rd pillar)

If you have a 3rd pillar, it doesn’t matter where you live (country of domicile) when you retire. Contact your 3rd pillar institution to find out how to withdraw your capital.