• Switzerland edition
 
Bern proposes later retirement age for women
Social Affairs Minister Alain Berset. Photo: Admin.ch

Bern proposes later retirement age for women

Published: 21 Jun 2013 18:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Jun 2013 18:57 GMT+02:00

The Swiss government on Friday presented a proposal for how to overhaul the Alpine nation's debt-strapped pension system in the face of an ageing population, including raising the retirement age for women by a year to 65.

Like a number of other European countries, Switzerland is feeling the strain on its pension system as its population ages, with around one third of the country's inhabitants expected to be above retirement age by 2050.

In terms of retirement spending, "we will need to cut 1.6 billion francs ($1.7 billion, 1.3 billion euros) by 2020 and nine billion francs by 2030," Jürg Brechbuehl, the head of the Federal Social Insurance Office, said at a televised news conference.

The main change proposed by the government would be to require women to work up to the age of 65 before receiving a full retirement, instead of allowing them to bow out a year earlier than their male counterparts as they do today.

In addition, people will need to pitch in more towards their own pension accounts, but will on average collect 12 percent less after they retire.

"Ensuring that there is a certain level of economic growth is no longer enough to finance pensions," Brechbuehl said.

The Swiss pension system is three-tiered, made up of a mandatory state pension insurance for all, a mandatory occupation pension fund that is funded jointly by employers and employees and an optional private savings plan for employees who want to increase their retirement income.

Among the other measures proposed Friday was a two-percentage-point hike in the VAT consumption tax in two stages to help finance the reform, as well as reining in the country's pre-retirement system.

If the government's proposal receives the needed nod of approval from both houses of parliament as well as from the people in a popular vote, it would mean that the Swiss would have to wait until the age of 62 before having access to pre-retirement, instead of the current 58.

"We need to adapt the system to ensure that elderly pensioners will be able to receive their retirement money even if they live to very old age," Swiss Social Affairs Minister Alain Berset told the news conference.

"It's our duty to ensure they have that security." 

The Swiss Pension Fund Association (ASIP) expressed satisfaction at Friday's proposal, which if passed would take effect by 2020.

"ASIP supports the principals in this reform proposal," it said in a statement.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Renovated Geneva train station central hall opens
Geneva's main train station. Photo: CFF

Renovated Geneva train station central hall opens

Passengers are able to traverse the central hall of Geneva’s main train station for the first time in more than four years after renovations begun in 2010. READ () »

Expats lace up running shoes for Swiss races
Runners take in mountain scenery in the Aletsch half marathon. Photo: Kathy Zimmerman

Expats lace up running shoes for Swiss races


From the simply beautiful to the downright barmy, Switzerland's vast array of running races are a great way for expats to integrate into the Swiss way of life, The Local's Caroline Bishop learns. READ () »

Unit sale drives rise in Novartis Q1 net profits
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Unit sale drives rise in Novartis Q1 net profits

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis on Thursday posted a 24-percent jump in first-quarter net profit from the same period a year earlier, driven largely by the sale of a blood transfusion diagnostics unit. READ () »

Doctor acquitted for aiding senior’s suicide
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Doctor acquitted for aiding senior’s suicide

A Neuchâtel cantonal court has overturned the conviction of a doctor found guilty of breaking the law by helping an 89-year-old man die without getting a proper diagnosis of his condition. READ () »

Vote set for ban on food trading 'speculation'
Photo: Michael Buholzer

Vote set for ban on food trading 'speculation'

The Swiss will vote on a proposal to ban speculation on agricultural commodities and food, the government said on Wednesday, announcing that organizers had gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum. READ () »

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs
Swiss People's Party MP Luzi Stamm. Photo: Federal Parliament

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs

Six members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) wanted to discreetly visit Iran without publicity last week but one of them inadvertently made the trip public in a tweet. 
 READ () »

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border
"Bush meat" seized by customs agents. Photo: Federal Customs Administration

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border

A Frenchman living in Switzerland was caught entering the country from France with unusual contraband in his suitcase: 16 kilograms of meat from exotic species native to the African jungle. READ () »

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes
WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Yann Forget

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) hit back on Wednesday against vaccine deniers who claim that immunization is pointless, risky and that the body is better off fighting disease unaided. READ () »

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards
Photo: Malcolm Curtis/The Local

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards

Voters in the canton of Vaud are set to go to the polls for a third time next month to decide on the future of Lavaux, the celebrated vineyard region east of Lausanne. READ () »

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks

Organizations must dramatically improve their response to cyber risks to avoid a new global shock on the scale of the financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008, a study from a Swiss-based insurer concludes. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Bern finds solution for Erasmus student exchange programme
National
Bern zoo faces animal cruelty charges over bear cub deaths
Society
Swiss alpine ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Features
Former industrial zone transforms into Zurich’s trendiest spot
Tech
Swiss Solar Impulse team shows off new fuel-free aircraft
International
Suspect in Liechtenstein bank CEO murder case 'likely dead'
Sponsored Article
Caveman comedy comes to Zurich in English
Society
Innovative building provides refuge for hypersensitive tenants
Tech
VIDEO: Teenage boy sends Swiss army knife into stratosphere
International
Switzerland ranks second in world for social progress: report
National
Pharrell Williams set to perform in first Montreux jazzfest concert
Sport
American wingsuit flyer dies after Bernese Oberland accident
Advertisement:
Business & Money
H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage for employees by 2015
International
Caterpillar accused by US senator of dodging taxes through 'Swiss plan'
International
Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Italian carmaker Ferrari
International
Schumacher’s wife pays for 'medical suite' at Swiss family mansion
International
Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four at London airport
International
Swiss refuse asylum request from topless protest group founder
Business & Money
British expat former banker to head Swiss finance regulator FINMA
National
Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV consumer affairs report
Business & Money
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe threatens Geneva exit over taxes
Business & Money
World's largest watch fair opens in Basel amid uncertain times
International
'Fergie' credits hikes around Verbier mountains for recent weight loss
Etoiles de Montagne
Sponsored Article
How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Swissbenefits
Sponsored Article
How to avoid Switzerland’s tax haven trap
International
Switzerland's residents are the happiest in the OECD: report
Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,087
jobs available