- Why vorsorgegelder.ch?
- How much does the research service of vorsorgegelder.ch cost?
- What is the process from visiting the website to receiving the found pension assets?
- How long does the investigation take?
- What documents are needed for the search?
- What is a power of attorney, and why is it needed?
- How can pension assets be forgotten, and who is most likely to be affected?
- What is the probability of finding pension assets, and how high is this on average?
- What is the difference between a vested benefits account/deposit and a vested benefits policy?
- Can I withdraw the pension assets I have found?
- What are the consequences of an early withdrawal of pension assets?
- What is withholding tax, and when does it apply?
- Can the withholding tax be reclaimed?
vorsorgegelder.ch helps clients to find forgotten or contactless 2nd pillar assets (pension fund assets/freemployment benefit assets). In Switzerland, there are approximately 5 billion unclaimed Swiss francs in 2nd pillar assets. We are able to provide positive results and recover lost pension assets for about 40% of the enquiries submitted to us. In addition, our lawyers and pension experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject.
After submitting your investigation request, you can sit back, relax and wait for your result. This saves you time, stress and bureaucratic effort. Plus, you do not have to deal with the individual authorities and/or pension institutions yourself.
Thanks to our pension experts and lawyers’ many years of experience, our chances of finding unknown 2nd pillar assets that belong to you are much better than if you take action yourself. Even if we are unable to locate any further assets, you can rest assured that you know where all of your 2nd pillar assets are.
How much does the research service of vorsorgegelder.ch cost?
First of all, we work on a contingency basis. For you, this means that you as a client do not bear any cost risk.
If we are successful in finding pension assets that are still unknown to you, our fee is 5.00% (incl. VAT). The success fee is charged exclusively on the amount of the 2nd pillar assets that we find.
If desired, it is possible to pay the contingency fee with the pension assets found. In this case, however, the found pension assets must be transferred to a partner-free benefits institution.
If our search efforts are unsuccessful, you will not incur any costs.
What is the process from visiting the website to receiving the found pension assets?
- You complete the information required by the tracing tool on the vorsorgegelder.ch site.
- vorsorgegelder.ch sends you a power of attorney to sign, with which you grant us the authority to act on your behalf.
- After about two to three weeks, you will receive a detailed result of our investigation, which will tell you whether and where other 2nd pillar assets are located and what their monetary amount is.
- Nach etwa zwei bis drei Wochen erhalten Sie ein detailliertes Nachforschungsergebnis, welchem Sie entnehmen können, ob und wo weitere Guthaben der 2. Säule liegen und wie hoch diese sind.
- Finally, we transfer the pension assets we have found to the pension institution of your choice. If necessary, we can recommend vested benefits institutions and advise you accordingly.
How long does the investigation take?
The duration of the processing depends on the respective offices and pension funds to be contacted. Therefore, unfortunately, precise information is not possible. As a rule, the investigation takes about two to three weeks.
What documents are needed for the search?
You can make our search easier if you upload scans of documents via the search tool that prove your employment relationship at the time (e.g., AHV certificate, 2nd pillar insurance certificate, salary statement or employment contract). However, confirmations of residence, proof of civil status or family certificates are not necessary.
What is a power of attorney, and why is it needed?
A power of attorney requirement ensures that no third party can unlawfully request information about your pension funds on your behalf. This document confirms that vorsorgegelder.ch is entitled to receive all information about your funds.
We will, therefore, send you a power of attorney either by email or by post for you to sign after you have submitted your enquiry request.
How can pension assets be forgotten, and who is most likely to be affected?
The main reasons that pension assets are lost or forgotten are a lack of attention to one’s own pension assets, changes of residence of the holders and an insufficient flow of information when leaving a job.
Every insured person is responsible for ensuring that their pension fund assets are transferred to their new pension fund when they change jobs. Employees from the hotel and catering industry, the construction industry or similar seasonal employment relationships are often affected by recurring job changes.
Expats who work in Switzerland for a few months or years and then return to their home country are also often affected. Due to ignorance of the Swiss social security system, their pension fund assets are often forgotten.
What is the probability of finding pension assets, and how high is this on average?
For about 40% of the search requests submitted to us, we are able to provide positive results and recover lost pension assets. If 2nd pillar assets are found, they amount to CHF 4,400 on average.
What is the difference between a vested benefits account/deposit and a vested benefits policy?
Vested benefits accounts/deposits are managed by banks. With a vested benefits account, only the retirement capital is deposited and earns interest at a certain percentage rate. The risks of disability and death are not insured. Instead of a vested benefits account with a fixed interest rate, you can also choose a securities solution. Such vested benefits securities accounts contain equity shares in varying amounts – the higher the amount, the better the expected long-term return, but the greater the risk of loss.
Vested benefit policies are offered by insurance companies. For old-age provisions, you can choose between a retirement capital, which is paid out on death or when you reach AHV retirement age, or a retirement pension, which is paid out from AHV retirement age until death. Optionally, other risks can also be insured: disability pension, widow’s pension, orphan’s pension. We recommend that you check the benefits in detail, as they are usually modest. In addition, the capital invested earns only minimal interest. No premiums are charged for this type of insurance; the basis for the benefits is the vested benefits amount.
Important: Check the possibility of distributing unneeded termination benefits between two vested benefits institutions. This allows you to withdraw your assets in stages during retirement and thus reduce the tax progression. Our vorsorgegelder.ch team will be happy to provide you with personal advice.
Can I withdraw the pension assets I have found?
2nd pillar assets are saved for old age, so they can be withdrawn in the form of a pension or as a lump sum at the age of 58 at the earliest. Pension assets parked with a vested benefits foundation can be withdrawn no earlier than five years before the normal retirement age.
There are also exceptions. Pension assets may be withdrawn early in the following cases:
- Early withdrawal for home ownership for own use
- Early withdrawal when taking up self-employment
- Definitive departure from Switzerland
- Minor disability or receipt of a full disability pension
- Repayment of the WEF advance withdrawal
Important: In the case of married couples, the spouse must agree to the payment.
What are the consequences of an early withdrawal of pension assets?
In the case of an early withdrawal, the pension capital must be taxed. The reduced capital withdrawal tax applies. If you live abroad at the time of the withdrawal (emigration), the tax is levied at the source.
An early withdrawal can reduce the pension benefits for the risks of death and disability.
If the level of the previous pension protection is to be maintained despite an early withdrawal, supplementary insurance can be taken out. Information on this can be obtained from the respective pension fund. We will be happy to advise you if anything is unclear.
What is withholding tax, and when does it apply?
Withholding tax applies if the recipient of 2nd or 3rd pillar pension assets lives abroad. In this case, Switzerland has no access to the funds and, therefore, levies the withholding tax at the source – i.e., at the pension fund. The pension fund must deduct the withholding tax from the pension assets and pay it to the state. Therefore, the recipient receives the net amount.
Can the withholding tax be reclaimed?
The withholding tax can be reclaimed if a double taxation agreement exists with the country in which the recipient (newly) resides. However, it is only possible if the withdrawal of capital is disclosed to the tax authorities in the new home country. If you would like more detailed information, please contact us directly.