How can I save on taxes on my private pension with my pillar 3a?


Save for retirement and save on taxes at the same time. Sounds too good to be true? Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to save the maximum amount of tax with your pension plan without the need for an intermediary.


Deposit in your pillar 3a until December 31 and save taxes!

How much can I deposit into my pillar 3a account?

The Federal Social Insurance Office has set the maximum amounts for pillar 3a («linked pension plan») for 2021. You can deposit up to the maximum amount of contributions into your pillar 3a account tax-free in the current year and deduct them from your income in your tax return in full:

Maximum contributions for pillar 3 in 2021 & 2022:

For employees

Employed persons with pension fund (second pillar)             

maximum CHF 6'883.- (2021)



For self-employed persons

Self-employed persons without pension fund (second pillar)                   

20% of net earned income, maximum CHF 34'416.- (2021)

Save on taxes - pillar 3a

Save on taxes and save for retirement

The third pillar is an important pillar in the Swiss pension model (PDF), because it helps you maintain your standard of living in old age. Open a pillar 3a account, make regular payments until retirement and ensure that your income after retirement is as high as possible compared to during your working years. By paying into the frankly pillar 3a you benefit twice over:


1.     Assets for retirement planning: With the contributions that

        you pay in, you can build up a fortune to do what you want         with in old age. Your pension will probably only cover 
        about 60% of your final salary from before you retire. You 
        can close this gap with the pillar 3a.


2.     Tax savings: You can deduct your pillar 3a savings 
        contributions in full from your taxable income up to the 
        maximum amount, and save up to CHF 2,500 per year in 
        taxes on an annual income of CHF 85,000!


The frankly pillar 3a app makes this child’s play. We’ll show you how it works. With no paperwork required and no need to visit a branch.

How much tax do I save?

Saving with the third pillar is also extremely attractive from a tax perspective: You save on taxes with every contribution to your pillar 3a. You can deduct the pension contributions from your taxable income in full up to the maximum amount. The amount you save in taxes increases with the more you pay. No income tax or wealth tax is payable until the pension contributions are paid out.


The amount of tax savings depend on your marital status, place of residence, taxable income and denomination. Do you want to calculate how much tax you can save?

tax calculator - Swisscanto
Steuern sparen mit Säule 3a

Examples of tax savings:

Example 1

Single, no children, residence 4000 Basel, taxable income: CHF 70,000, deposits CHF 5,000/year, non-denominational


Tax savings: CHF 1,236 in the first year

A pillar 3a deposit reduces the tax burden in Basel by CHF 1,236 or 7.6%!

Example 2

Married with a child, residence 8000 Zurich, taxable income: CHF 120,000, deposits CHF 6,000/year, Protestant


Tax savings: CHF 1,514 in the first year

A pillar 3a deposit reduces the tax burden in Zurich by CHF 1,514 or 8.5%!


Source: Tax calculator - Swisscanto

Maximalbetrag Säule 3a 2020

frankly tip

Even if you are not able to pay the maximum pension contributions for 2021, you can also pay smaller contributions into your third pillar at any time. This way you also save on taxes and at the same time benefit from long-term yield opportunities in your retirement provision. It is best to set up a standing order, since even regular small amounts can have a big effect.



If you save the price of a coffee a day and invest it in your third pillar, according to the frankly pension calculator your retirement assets can amount to more than CHF 100,000* when you retire. 


*Deposit CHF 1,800 per year, 30 years, ambitious investment strategy with hypothetical annual return 3.9%.

How do I declare my 3a con­tri­butions in my tax return?

You do not need a tax consultant to benefit from the tax savings. In your tax return (Main form -> Deductions) you simply the state amount of pillar 3a contributions that you have paid in.

Don't forget to enclose the tax certificate from your frankly pillar 3a! In any case, an official certificate from the pension fund confirming the contributions paid must be enclosed with the tax return. With frankly, you will receive your tax certificate once a year in your app’s mailbox (under the menu item «Profile»).

Does it make sense to open multiple 3a pillars?

It’s worth having multiple 3a pillars: You can receive them on a staggered basis when you retire, giving you tax advantages when it comes to payouts. We recommend setting up a second frankly pillar 3a for amounts above CHF 50,000. You can open another frankly pillar 3a via the app with just a few clicks.


frankly tip:

Do you already have two 3a pillars at other banks? Then you can also transfer them to two frankly 3a pillars, meaning that you can continue to separate your savings. Simply place two transfer orders via the app – one order per frankly account.

More about the topic

Everything about pillar 3a

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