How do I reach Swiss Life?

  • Our employees, who are working from home until further notice, ensure smooth communication with you, our customers. 
  • We will handle all your concerns, questions and needs with the quality to which you are accustomed at all times.
  • Due to the applicable hygiene and social distancing regulations, we prefer to communicate with you by phone, e-mail or video conferencing until further notice. Physical meetings are possible at the express request of the customer and subject to additional protective measures.
  • Our general agencies re-opened on 27 April. 
  • Otherwise, despite the special circumstances, there will be no change for you as a Swiss Life customer.

We have a full insurance solution with Swiss Life. What does the current capital market situation mean for our future provisions?

  • Swiss Life pursues a long-term investment strategy and has a well diversified investment portfolio with a high credit rating.
  • Swiss Life manages capital market risks by means of its continuous asset liability processes.
  • As a full insurance customer you have hedged all capital market risks.
  • You receive the guaranteed interest rate and do not participate in current capital market developments.

We have a semi-autonomous solution with Swiss Life (Swiss Life Business Invest). What does the current capital market situation mean for our future provisions? How high is the foundation's cover ratio?

  • As a customer of the semi-autonomous Swiss Life Business Invest solution, you participate to a certain extent in current capital market developments.
  • The Board of Trustees and the Investment Committee follow these capital market developments closely and take the necessary measures when necessary.
  • The investment strategy is geared to a long-term horizon.
  • Thanks to risk-controlling equity components and currency hedging, the foundation currently has a stable cover ratio of just under 100%.  

What will change with the introduction of short-time working? 

Short-time working does not entail any changes to the factors applicable under pension law to the involved parties (employer, employees, employee benefits institution). 


Must the employer and employee contributions still be paid?

The employer and employee contributions must still be paid. 


Does the previous coordinated salary change? Can I adjust the previous coordinated salary?

The previously registered salary of employees insured under pension law and the amount of the contributions due remain unchanged.

Background:

  • If short-time working compensation is paid to employees insured under pension law within the meaning of Art. 31 AVIG, employer and employee are required to continue paying the full statutory and contractually agreed contributions to the employee benefits institution in accordance with normal working hours (see Art. 37, lit. c AVIG), including both the contributions for mandatory and those for supplementary occupational provisions.
  • The existing coordinated salary of an insured person remains applicable in the event of short-time working; a reduction of the coordinated salary due to short-time working is not legally permissible. According to prevailing opinion, this is a case of application of Art. 8, para. 3 BVG (Validity of existing coordinated salary in case of temporary reduction of annual salary due to ‘unemployment’).
  • In this case the employer’s contributions are also not refunded from unemployment insurance (cf. Art. 39, para. 2, cl. 2 AVIG in conjunction with Art. 61a AVIV a contrario). However, the employer remains entitled to deduct the full employee contributions (employee share within the meaning of Art. 66, cl. 1 BVG) from the salary (or short-time working compensation) as long as nothing else was agreed in the employment contract (cf. Art. 37, lit. c AVIG in fine).
  • The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has published further important information on the topic of short-time work here

Can I temporarily use the employer contribution reserves to pay employee contributions in the event of liquidity bottlenecks?

  • Yes, the Federal Council decreed on 25 March 2020 that employers may temporarily use the employer contribution reserves accumulated by them to pay employee contributions to occupational benefits. This measure is intended to make it easier for employers to bridge liquidity shortages. The measure will have no effect on employees: As in normal circumstances, the employer deducts the portion of the contribution from their salary, and all contributions are credited to them by the employee benefits institution.
  • The corresponding Ordinance 831.471 (COVID-19 Ordinance on Occupational Retirement, Survivors' and Disability Pension Plans) applies for a period of six months from the date of entry into force (26 March 2020).
  • If you require further information, please contact Swiss Life Customer Services.

Does Swiss Life provide benefits in the event of a death caused by the coronavirus? 

  • Yes, Swiss Life will pay the benefits same as with any illness-induced death.
  • Swiss Life has no exclusion for pandemics.
  • Benefits may vary according to the pension plan.


What should be taken into account in the event of a disease? Whom do I have to inform?

  • Illness from the coronavirus does not have to be reported to Swiss Life.
  • Notifications of incapacity to work are to be provided following a prolonged three-month illness, as usual.
     

What must be taken into account in the event of death?

  • In the event of death, Swiss Life will also pay benefits in the same way as another death.
  • Swiss Life has no exclusion for pandemics.
  • Benefits may vary according to the pension plan.

     

Whom do I have to inform?

In the event of death, the following documents must be submitted by the surviving dependants:

  • Notification of death form (on the homepage)
  • Death certificate
  • Addresses/telephone numbers of persons entitled to benefits
  • Any divorce decrees

Any benefits are carefully calculated, checked and paid out as appropriate. There will be no change in the way benefits are managed and paid out in the event of death.

I will retire shortly or I intend to retire shortly. Will I receive my pension?

You can of course plan your retirement as you intended and decide whether to draw an annuity or your accumulated retirement capital when you retire, or a mixture of the two.


I'm retired – is my pension secure?

Your pension will continue to be paid out as usual.

Where can I find further information of interest to me as an employer?

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has published an FAQ on the pandemic and businesses (Preparedness handbook) covering the most important issues for employers and employees.

Where can I find out about the current state of affairs?

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) keeps up-to-date information on its website. If you have any questions, please contact the 24-hour Infoline on +41 58 463 00 00.

Questions and answers for private clients

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