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Survey: narrow majority in favour of pension reform

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Survey: narrow majority in favour of pension reform
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09:05 CEST+02:00
A narrow majority of Swiss will support a reform of the country's old-age pension system in next month's nationwide vote, a survey has found.

But with just five weeks to go, the result is in the balance and the government has its work cut out to convince sceptical voters, the Blick newspaper reported.

The poll carried out by research institute gfs.bern found 53 percent were in favour of two pension-related provisions – one on increasing VAT and the other on the actual reform of the pension scheme.

Some 41 percent opposed the VAT rise and 42 percent were against the reform, with the rest undecided.

A separate poll by Tamedia, published on August 9th, found that only the VAT increase would pass, with the actual reform heading for rejection.

The vote takes place on September 24th and comes after parliament finally agreed on a package to secure funding for old age pensions following more than two years of debate.

Voters will be asked to decide whether they support the package of reforms to the AVS/AHV state pension scheme.

At the same time they will decide on a constitutional amendment to raise VAT by 0.6 percent from eight percent ­­at present.

Under the planned reform the retirement age for women would be raised to 65 – it is currently 64 – bringing it into line with that for men.

Second pillar – or occupational – pension payments will decrease from 6.8 percent of the capital per year to six percent, although salary deductions will go up slightly.

That will be compensated with an additional monthly 70 francs in pension payments from 2019.

The poll found centre-left Social Democrat, Christian Democrat and Green voters were strongly supportive of the reform, with centre-right Liberal Radicals and rightwing SVP sympathisers generally against it.

The SVP and Liberal-Radical party actively have campaigned against the reform.

The Swiss pension system is based on the three pillars of state, professional and private contributions.

READ ALSO: Study finds Switzerland is a great place to retire

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