The AHV/AVS 21 reform is altering conditions for employees and creating new opportunities and challenges for businesses.

1. The basics: check employment contracts

The increase in the reference age for women and new flexible options for drawing AHV/AVS pensions also affect the employment relationship. It is therefore advisable to review employment contracts and staff regulations and to adapt them where necessary to these changes. This applies in particular if specific ages are stated in the documents. Ideally, they should be replaced by dynamic fields. It is also important to ensure that the gradual increase in the reference age is reflected in the salary system (e.g. for calculating the allowance for gainful employment beyond the reference age).

The new flexibility requires employers to provide necessary information and to address employees’ wishes and plans at an early stage. This is the only way of exploiting the new possibilities and opportunities offered by the AHV/AVS 21 reform.

2. Optimising pension provision: exploit opportunities in the pension fund

The introduction of the standard reference age of 65 and the corresponding increase from 64 to 65 for women also apply in the second pillar (occupational pension). As a result, women will save longer
for their retirement and thus benefit from higher retirement benefits. Employers should take the opportunity to explore other options for optimising the structure of their occupational provisions for employees. For example, a reduction in the coordination offset or consideration of the level of
employment, especially for part-time employees and employees with lower incomes, will have a positive impact on their insurance benefits.

3. Tackling the shortage of skilled labour: flexibility increases incentives

The reform facilitates a smooth transition from work to retirement, while also providing incentives to work beyond the reference age. Specifically, partial withdrawal of both state and occupational retirement benefits is possible prior to the reference age, or withdrawal can be deferred beyond the reference age. Furthermore, those who continue to work after the age of 65 can use the additional AHV/AVS contributions to close gaps
and thus bolster their state pension. These measures also offer opportunities for employers as they enable employees to remain with the company for longer – in part-time positions, for example.


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4. Planning better solutions together

Whereas previously the AHV/AVS retirement pension could only be drawn in advance or deferred by entire years, now the month of retirement can be freely selected. The same now applies to occupational pensions: retirement benefits can be drawn whenever the employee stops working. While this entails a greater need for coordination between employers, employees and pension providers, it also offers the flexibility for
a self-determined, personal retirement plan that suits employers and employees alike. The important thing here is to plan early.

5. Providing support: enabling informed decisions

The topic of future provisions begins with AHV/AVS (first pillar), continues with occupational provisions
(second pillar) and ends with private pension provision (pillars 3a and 3b), which is where the most influence can be exerted. Companies can support their employees by providing information, which makes a valuable contribution to retirement planning. Swiss Life offers staff orientation events for this purpose: Swiss Life pensions advisors explain the options available to employees to help them lead a self-determined life after retirement.

Would you like more information?

Contact us to arrange a staff orientation event at your company.

Illustrations: Till Lauer

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