Social security

Social security

How you are insured in the event of illness and accident, who receives family allowances and how you can save for life after retirement - you can find answers to these and other questions in the social insurance section.


01. How does the pension system work in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, retirement age begins at 64 for women and 65 for men.

In Switzerland, pension provision is based on a 3-pillar system.
State provision:
Content: AHV (old-age and survivors' insurance) and IV (disability insurance)
Goal: Securing existence
Responsible: State

Occupational pension (2nd pillar):
Content: Pension fund
Goal: Maintain standard of living
Responsible: Employer

Private pension (3rd pillar):
Content: tied pension provision (pillar 3a) and free pension provision (pillar 3b)
Target: additional demand
Responsible: Ownership

02. What is the disability insurance (IV) for?

The abbreviation IV stands for Disability Insurance. Alongside the AHV, it is another important social insurance in Switzerland. A person is considered to be disabled if he or she is permanently or for a longer period (at least one year) no longer able to work or only partially able to work due to a physical, mental or intellectual health impairment.

The primary task of the IV is to reintegrate the affected insured persons into working life. A whole range of integration measures serve this purpose. Only if these do not lead to the desired result does the IV pay the insured person a Pension.

You can find more information on disability insurance at the Website of and at the IV office of the canton.

03. Who and what is covered by accident insurance?.

All employees in Switzerland Employees are insured against accident.

  • You work eight hours or more per week with an employer: Then you are insured against occupational accidents and against so-called non-occupational accidents (accidents on the way to work and during leisure time).
  • You work less than eight hours per week with an employer: Then you are only insured against occupational accidents and against accidents on the way to work. For accidents in your free time (e.g. in the household), you must take out accident insurance with the health insurance company.
  • Unemployed persons, who are entitled to unemployment benefits are compulsorily insured.

Not insured are persons who are not gainfully employed, e.g. housewives and househusbands, children, students, pensioners or unemployed persons who have been taxed out. These persons are required to take out accident insurance with the health insurance company.

This is how you proceed in the event of an accident: Always report the accident immediately to your employer or health insurance company. You can obtain the form for this from your employer or your health insurance fund.

04. How is the unemployment insurance (UI) organized?

To receive unemployment compensation, you must first register with the Regional Employment Center RAV register. You should do this as soon as you learn that you will be laid off, for example, before you become unemployed. If you are not yet registered with an unemployment insurance fund, you can do so there.

Here you will find further information on unemployment insurance in Switzerland.

05. Who and what is insured in the health insurance (KV)?.

Mandatory is the so-called Basic insurance. Health insurance companies must include every person in basic insurance, regardless of age and state of health. The insured persons are free to choose their health insurance company.

All are included in the basic insurance for the Same power insured. However, depending on the health insurance company and insurance model, this varies in cost. The benefits of the basic insurance include, for example, treatment in a doctor's office and hospital, medically prescribed medication and laboratory tests, psychotherapy and physiotherapy, check-ups during pregnancy, vaccinations, health examinations for children and partial costs for emergency transport. Not covered by the basic insurance are ordinary dental treatments.

You can voluntarily make a Supplementary insurance and have to pay more premium for it. This pays for additional services.

Here you will find a list of all basic insurance benefits.

The Health Guide Switzerland helps migrants to find their way around the Swiss healthcare system. It is available in various languages.

Here you will find more information about health insurance in Switzerland.

06. What is maternity insurance?

In Switzerland, maternity insurance is required by law: this means that working mothers are granted leave for 14 weeks after giving birth and receive 80 percent of their average salary (also called maternity compensation or maternity leave).
Since 2021, there has been a legal entitlement to paternity leave in Switzerland. Officially, this amounts to 2 weeks. You can obtain more information about this directly from your employer or from here.  

More information about the Maternity compensation and to the Protection of the employee during maternity can be found on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office.

07. Who gets family allowances?

Are entitled to family allowances Employees with an income subject to AHV contributions of at least CHF 7,050 per year, or CHF 587 per month. Self-employed persons also receive family allowances.

In the canton of Obwalden you will receive fFor children up to 16 years a child allowance of 200 francs per child and month. For Children from 16 to 25 yearswho are in training, you are entitled to a Education allowance of 250 francs per child and month to. You must apply to your employer for family allowances.

On the website you will find more information.

08. Am I entitled to health insurance premium reduction?

Those who live in modest economic circumstances receive a financial contribution to the premiums for compulsory health insurance - the individual premium reduction.

The individual premium reduction is a transaction of the cantonal health office. It is paid directly to the health insurance company.

You can find more information on the Website of the health department and on the Info sheet premium reduction 2022.

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