Women face major challenges in occupational and private provisions. Despite advancing equality can lead maternity leave, part-time employment, childcare and longer life expectancy to major gaps in retirement provisions. We have ten valuable tips for your pension provision, for a self-determined life in retirement.

Familie_sparen_Martina Gantenbein (5)

Have women not long since had the same opportunities and risks as men when it comes to financial provision? "Not necessarily and not in many cases," says Swiss Life expert Martina Gantenbein. “The pension for women in Switzerland is about a third lower than for men.” The life and pensions specialist reveals what women should keep in mind regarding pension provision, to nevertheless decide in self-determination.

1. Take control of your own financial provision

Take personal resopnsibility for your financial security – not the AHV, your partner’s policies or your employer. The third pillar offers many options for shaping financial provisions in a self-determined manner. 

2. Review your situation

An honest glance at your own finances will set you on the path to solid protection.  The best way to proceed is as follows: 

  • compare your income and expenditure and calculate your monthly budget. Where is there savings potential that you can invest in your pension provision? 
  • What tax-qualified insurance, assets and investments do you have already? Let an experienced insurance advisor help and advise you with your analysis. He or she will identify any gaps in coverage and review your documents for possible overinsurance. 
  • This allows you to calculate all possible eventualities: are you going to remain single for the foreseeable, do you want to marry or are you already married? Do you have children or plan to have children? Less gratifying developments, such as divorce or a patchwork situation, also need to be worked through.

3. Review your finances regularly

Review your pension and financial situation regularly with your advisor. An up-to-date overview of your finances is very helpful if your life situation changes.

4. Set clear savings targets

Whatever your budget looks like, every franc you save is well invested. Define short, medium and long-term savings targets and invest your money accordingly. Savings accounts are ideal for short-term savings targets, investments are a medium-term strategy and policies are your financial future. One way to make saving fun is to keep an eye on your wishes. The feeling of anticipation preempts any feelings of doing without.

5. Protect yourself against disability

An accident or serious illness can seriously jeopardise your financial independence in one fell swoop. A strain that also affects mental health and sometimes makes recovery difficult. Single women find it particularly hard in this situation, but it can also be hard for a family to shoulder the burden. Make provision for disability early.

6. Secure your mortgage

Mortgages pose a high financial risk, especially for women as they are taken out together with their partner in most cases. Nobody likes to talk about that. Nevertheless, every woman should be aware of the worst-case scenario early on. Is the mortgage affordable in the event of your partner’s death? Our affordability calculator for calculating the lump-sum death benefit brings clarity.

Affordability calculator

With the affordability calculator you can calculate whether you are covered by the lump-sum death benefit in addition to the maximum loan amount.

7. Pension – keep an eye on the 1st pillar (AHV)

What is the compulsory share of your pension? Order an individual account statement and check whether all contribution years have been paid in and what kind of benefits you can expect upon retirement. Five years can also be paid retroactively.

8. Close gaps in coverage

Women are much more likely to work part-time than men, but even when they become self-employed or unemployed, their pension fund is no longer adequately financed.In addition to pillar 3a, invest the amount you would save if you were fully employed in private non tax-qualified provisions: pillar 3b. Include a waiver of premium for disability to ensure that come what may you achieve your savings target. Here you can find further information on the Swiss pension system.

9. Make full use of pillar 3a

Annual payments into pillar 3a bring tax advantages. Women who are self-employed or working part-time can invest 20% of their income in tax-qualified provisions and thereby gain a tax advantage. The maximum amount for women in employment is CHF 6883; self-employed women can deduct up to CHF 34 416 from taxable income. 

10. Plan your retirement early

The sooner you do it, the better. That's why you should start planning ten years before the official retirement age. This will enable you to react in good time in the event of foreseeable supply bottlenecks in old age. You may even be able to take early retirement.

images: Philip Brand; Unsplash, Jenny Überberg

Familie_sparen_Martina Gantenbein (4)
Experienced financial advisor

Martina Gantenbein has worked at Swiss Life for 15 years. She is a certified life and pensions specialist for private and corporate clients and currently works with clients at Uster General Agency. Ms Gantenbein is a mother of two and knows: when it comes to pension provision, women need to catch up and take their finances into their own hands in a self-determined manner.

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