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Early withdrawal of pension funds

In special cases, you may draw on your pension (pension assets) before retirement, if you intend to purchase property, become self-employed or leave Switzerland permanently, for example.

Early withdrawal for the purpose of acquiring property for personal use

You may use your pension funds to purchase property, to repay mortgage loans or to acquire shares in a housing cooperative. Please note:

  • Early withdrawals may be made no more than once every five years.
  • Up until the age of 50, the entire retirement fund may be withdrawn.
  • After the age of 50, the amount that may be withdrawn is limited. Married persons must provide the written consent of their spouse (the same applies to persons in registered partnerships).
  • If you decide to sell property purchased with an early withdrawal you must generally refund the amount withdrawn.
  • Early withdrawals reduce the voluntary old age, survivors' and invalidity pensions.

What you need to do

Ask your pension company (pension fund or vested benefits institution) about the withdrawal procedures and deadlines. The pension company will let you know what documents you need.

Early withdrawal when becoming self-employed

You may also draw on your pension if you become self-employed and no longer need to pay into a compulsory pension plan.

What you need to do

You must provide proof to the pension company that you are self-employed, such as a rental agreement for office space, purchase of material, AHV confirmation, entry in the commercial register, etc. You must submit your request with the pension company in the year after you become self-employed. Married persons must provide the written consent of their spouse (the same applies to persons in registered partnerships).

Permanent departure from Switzerland

You may draw on your pension if you can prove that you are leaving Switzerland permanently to settle abroad.

Payout of the pension fund to persons moving to an EU / EFTA member state

Anyone leaving Switzerland to settle in an EU/EFTA member state, may generally not cash in their pension from the compulsory pension plan as persons in the new country of domicile are insured by law to receive old age, survivors' and invalidity benefits. The mandatory portion of your pension assets must therefore remain in a blocked account (vested benefits account or policy) in Switzerland and can only be paid out when you reach retirement age. The extra-mandatory portion of your pension, however, may be paid out in cash. The mandatory and extra-mandatory portions of your pension are listed on the personal insurance certificate under the heading ‘Retirement provision information’.

What you need to do

Contact the pension fund you paid into with your last employer or the vested benefits institution where you have an account or a policy. Notify them of your departure from Switzerland and provide them with the necessary documents.

Information for foreign nationals about the Swiss social insurance system when sojourning in Switzerland and when leaving Switzerland permanently