The Swiss System
Swiss quality of life
Switzerland is a country that offers a unique quality of life, one that few regions in the world can even aspire to.
The beauty and variety of the landscape, low crime rate, an excellent healthcare system, a high standard of education, first-class sporting infrastructures, modern and efficient public services, legendary cleanliness and of course, the precision for which the country is renowned well beyond its borders.
This quality of life is based, among other things, on a well-thought-out administrative and social system:
- Health insurance (LAmal) and compensation for loss of earnings (APG) during maternity leave
- Old-age, survivor's and disability insurance schemes made up of 3
“pillars", i.e. the AVS-AI (pillar 1), the occupational pension scheme
PP (pillar 2) and optional individual pension and insurance provisions
- Occupational or non-occupational accident insurance (AA)
- Unemployment insurance (AC)
- Family benefits
- pillar 1, that of the public authorities, is made up
of the AVS and the AI. The annuities from these two types of insurance
are intended to cover the basic needs of the parties insured. The first
pillar is compulsory for everyone, including independent contractors and
those not gainfully employed.
- pillar 2 (LPP) complements the first pillar with
occupational old-age, survivor's and disability insurance. These two
pillars guarantee at least 60% of their last salary for insured parties
who retire. Only those employed are subject to the second pillar by law.
- pillar 3, the individual pension and insurance
arrangements aimed at covering further needs, is optional but unlike
other forms of savings it offers certain tax benefits. The funds can
only be paid out in the event of certain incidents (retirement, death or
invalidity) or, under certain circumstances, for the purchase of their
own place of residence.
cantonal social security offices and, within the cantonal schemes, by
the family allowance funds (recognised professional or interprofessional
funds and cantonal funds).
Compulsory health insurance guarantees access to a range of quality
medical care and appropriate medical treatment for everyone living in
Switzerland within their canton of residence. Health insurance for
medical expenses is required under Swiss law. This private insurance,
which must be taken out within 3 months of your arrival in the country,
is the responsibility of the employee. The amount varies depending on
the level of cover you require.
on your permit type (cross-border or Swiss residence permit), your
salary level and your canton of employment. Taxes in Switzerland are
also made more complex by the number of cantons (the applicable taxation
differs from one canton to the next). The method of calculating tax in
Switzerland is, however, rather simple compared with other countries.
work in Switzerland, you must also have a Swiss work permit. The Swiss
work permit is an official document issued by the population service in
your canton which allows you to work in Switzerland.
- General information and explanations about taxation in Switzerland on the Confederation portal site
- How the tax system in Switzerland works on the Federal Tax Administration site
- All your questions about Switzerland:
- The social system:
- The amount of social security contributions
- The healthcare system
- Work permits
- Switzerland in general
- Tourism in Switzerland