Are you moving on and leaving Switzerland behind? We wish you all the best! Find out here what you can do with your pillar 3a account when you leave the country.
When you move abroad there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and a lot of paperwork to sort out. Once you have found a job and a place to live, you might wonder what will happen to your pillar 3a when you are no longer based in Switzerland. Depending on where you move to, you have a number of options for what to do with your tied pension.
Moving abroad is one of the few exceptions where you can withdraw funds from your pillar 3a at any time. However, you don’t have to. It’s up to you whether you withdraw your 3a assets or leave them in place. If you are moving away permanently, i.e. you are deregistering in Switzerland, you can always use your pension to help you get started in your new country. Since frankly will no longer be available if you are living abroad, you have the choice of either dissolving your pillar 3a immediately or transferring it to a personally managed business relationship with Zürcher Kantonalbank or to another tied pension institution.
The costs involved in moving to another country can vary depending on what you plan to do and where you move to. Do you want to buy an apartment abroad or start your own business? People often finance the costs of getting themselves established with the savings from their pillar 3a. It’s no different to building a house in Switzerland and being allowed to use the assets from your pillar 3a to fund the costs of it. However, be aware that these savings do not apply to planning your retirement.
These are reasons you might choose to withdraw your retirement savings when leaving Switzerland:
These are reasons you might choose to keep your pillar 3a after leaving the country:
If you move abroad you won’t be able to keep your pillar 3a with frankly, but ZKB offers some solutions here. We will be happy to advise you on this subject.
So you’ve decided to cash out your pillar 3a. Here’s how to do it:
You can save on taxes depending on when exactly you withdraw your pillar 3a when you leave Switzerland. The key factor is whether you withdraw your money before or after deregistering in Switzerland. Get advice from one of our tax experts to help you stay on top of things.
Leaving Switzerland does not mean that you will lose your pension fund assets from the 2nd pillar. If you terminate your current employment, you can have your assets transferred to up to two vested benefits foundations. As a general rule, you may withdraw your capital no more than five years before reaching the regular retirement age.
Under certain circumstances, if you leave Switzerland permanently you may also be able to make an early withdrawal from your 2nd pillar. If you move to an EU/EFTA country, you can withdraw the non-mandatory part of the pension fund assets. However, if you are no longer subject to compulsory insurance for old age, death and disability in your new country of residence, you can have your pension fund paid out in full, i.e. including the mandatory part, even in the EU/EFTA (with the exception of Liechtenstein). You can also withdraw pension fund assets to purchase a property. You may not transfer pension fund assets to a new pension fund abroad.
The money in the AHV is not saved for you personally. Therefore, you cannot withdraw money from the AHV even if you move abroad. However, Switzerland has signed an agreement with a number of countries. This means that you will still receive an AHV pension abroad if you have worked in Switzerland for more than one year. Remember to report to the Compensation Office in Switzerland when you approach retirement age.
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