Why is pillar 3a so im­por­tant for me?

We explain what pillar 3a is and why a private pension makes sense for you.

good reasons for pillar 3a

What is pillar 3a?

You might think you’re too young to worry about such things. But you’d probably like to remain independent and decide yourself how you’ll spend your retirement. Saving and investing in the frankly pillar 3a app should help you do just that – without much paperwork or effort.


Invest a few minutes of your time today so that you have optimum financial security in the future. You’ll see that it’s easier than you thought.

The Swiss pension system – the three pill­ars of your finan­cial future

To help you understand what the third pillar is, we’ll give you a brief overview of the Swiss three-pillar pension system:

Your future retirement pension is based metaphorically on three pillars (the three-pillar principle), and it aims to ensure the security and quality of your life in retirement.


  • Pillar 1 = state pension provision To financially secure your subsistence needs, the first pillar includes various types of compulsory insurance, above all the AHV (Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance). This is Switzerland’s mandatory state pension insurance. It is available for all persons resident or employed in Switzerland. The amount of pensions is controlled by law and depends on the contributions paid in.
  • Pillar 2 = occupational pension provision Occupational pension provision from the credit balance of pension funds (BVG) and accident insurance (UVG) aims to secure people’s standard of living in an appropriate manner – whether in the event of an accident or after retirement. Employed persons are therefore affiliated to the second pillar of the Swiss social security system on a compulsory or voluntary basis.
  • Pillar 3 = private provision (pillar 3a is shown here as an example)
    Pillar 3 private provision is an important add-on that secures people’s individual standard of living in the future. Pillar 3a helps employed people to build up their own retirement assets and ensure their personal retirement provision. At the same time, pillar 3a savers benefit from considerable tax advantages. Pension contributions paid can be deducted from taxable income. Saving in a pillar 3a securities solution offers higher long-term return opportunities than with conventional account solutions.
Zeichenfläche 1 Kopie 16 3a restrict. pension prov. Pillar 3 private retirement provision Individual add-on 3b unrestrict. pension prov. Pillar 1 state pension provision AHV/ IHV/ Supplementary benefits Pillar 2 Securing accustomed standard of living Pension fund (BVG/UVG) Three-pillar principle Securing basic standard of living occupational pension provision

Why is pillar 3a so important for me?

Unfortunately, pensions from the AHV (pillar 1) and pension funds (pillar 2) are often not sufficient to maintain people’s previous standard of living. This is known as the “pension gap”. It means that your future pension will probably only cover 60% of your current income. Pillar 3a is so important because it enables you to close this gap.

Pension gap Switzerland

To be able to maintain your standard of living in old age, we recommend that you set up a pillar 3 account with frankly. In our pension calculator, we show you how much you can save.


Go to the pillar 3a pension calculator

By the way, did you know?
frankly is one of the Top 10 providers

frankly is rated in the Top 10 in the category «provider with the best performance over 5 years». 

(Handelszeitung article from 06.06.2024)

set up a pillar 3a account

How can I set up a pillar 3a account?

You’ve already taken the first step because you’re here. In general, the earlier you start your pension plan, the fewer financial worries you’ll have when you retire.


At frankly, we recommend the following:


If you don’t have a pillar 3a account yet:


1. Download the frankly app for free or register online and set up a pillar 3a account. It takes just a few minutes. All you need to open an account is a smartphone, tablet or computer and an ID card. Everything is done digitally – without any paperwork.


2. When you open your account, you choose your own investment strategy or the pillar 3a in cash (risk level "0 = No risk”). Are you interested in investments and have little or no investment knowledge? Don’t worry. We’ll help you. You will be supported in your decision and can choose between five strategies (from security-conscious to opportunity-oriented) according to your personal risk tolerance.


3. You’ve done it! Once you have successfully set up your frankly pillar 3a account, click on the «+» and select «Deposit» to transfer your first pension contributions. In the web version, click on the “Deposit” tile. Don’t worry – you’re under no obligation. With frankly, you decide for yourself how much to pay in – deposits can be made from as little as CHF 1 and there is no minimum term.


Do you already have a pillar 3a account with another provider?
No problem.

We'll show you how to transfer easily

What are the advantages of frankly?

1. You save on taxes

2. frankly opening in a few minutes

3. With as little as CHF 1

4. Simple & under­standable – fully digital

5. Attractive yield oppor­tu­nities through high-quality in­vestment pro­ducts

6. Radical pricing model

7. Our community discount

8. Safety & experience of Zürcher Kantonalbank

Your advantages with the frankly pillar 3a
advantages pillar 3a
start paying into your pillar 3a account

When can I start paying into my pillar 3a account?

The earlier you start with your pension planning, the greater your financial leeway in the future. You can save more money over a longer period of time and pay less tax at the same time! It’s best to open a pillar 3a account as soon as you start working. The earlier the better. But even if you’ve been working for some time now, you can still pay into the third pillar up to five years after you reach AHV retirement age, provided you remain employed.


The only requirement is that you are gainfully employed in Switzerland and that you have an income subject to AHV contributions. You can see here how much you can pay in.

When may the money be withdrawn from the pillar 3a?

Ordinary withdrawal:

  • When you reach AHV age (at the earliest five years before ordinary AHV retirement age)


Early withdrawal:

  • If you wish to finance your own home
  • If you wish to become self-employed
  • If you wish to buy into a pension fund
  • If you receive a full IV pension
  • If you leave Switzerland permanently
  • If you dissolve your current matrimonial property regime, in particular following divorce


money withdraw from pillar 3a

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