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Retirement reform vote – «Age care 2020»: That is what is at stake News

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 | Economy

The precautionary system in Switzerland faces financial challenges. The share of the elderly population is growing and the return on investment is no longer obtained from earlier. The first pillar (AHV) and the second pillar (occupational pensions and pension funds) are affected.
The Federal Council therefore intends to carry out a comprehensive revision of the first and second pillar. After intensive discussions in the National Council of States and the Council of States, a compromise solution could finally be found for the 2020 pension package "AV 2020".
A compromise, which is not all satisfactory: against the submission, trade unions from the Romandy, small link parties and consumer protection organizations successfully submitted a referendum. That's why the popular vote is taking place on September 24th.
Due to the high complexity, it is difficult to keep track of the pension form. cash answers the most important questions on the subject:
What are the main points of the action package?
Increasing the pension age for women from 64 to 65 years: This applies to both the AHV and the occupational pension scheme.
Lower conversion rate in occupational pensions: The minimum conversion rate for the compulsory portion of occupational pensions is gradually reduced from 6.8% to 6% by 2021. This reduces the pensions from the second pillar, but is (partly) compensated by the possibility of higher age credits.
More wage deductions and higher VAT: AHV wage deductions increase by 0.3 percentage points. At the same time, VAT rises by 0.6 percentage points. However, it remains for the time being at 8.0 percent, since other contributions are canceled. From 2021, the rate is then increased to 8.3 percent.
Monthly 70 francs more AHV pension and higher maximum pension for married couples: For all Neurentner from 2019 there are 70 francs more per month. Married couples receive a maximum of 226 francs per month at maximum rents, as the so-called "plafonierung" – ie the limitation of the married couple rents upwards – is increased from 150 per cent to 155 per cent.
More flexible AHV pension cover: The AHV pension has previously been up to a maximum of two years ahead; up to five years are now possible. At the same time, the pensions are reduced less in the case of a pre-retirement move. In the case of a pension allowance – which is possible up to the age of 70 – the surcharges are lower than before.
Why is there an AHV pension deposit, if the AHV is already in a bad position?
The exact contents of the "AV 2020" were strongly discussed in the National Council and the Council of States. Ultimately, a compromise solution had to be found, which on the one hand finds a majority in Parliament and on the other hand also has a chance with the people. If the reform were to consist exclusively of absenteeism without compensatory measures, there would not have been a majority in Parliament (and probably among the people).
What does the reform mean for the state of the AHV Compensation Fund?
Funds are always tapped from the AHV Compensation Fund if the expenditure exceeds the revenue in the first pillar. Without reform, the fund is fully utilized up to the year 2031 according to the Federal Social Insurance Office. With the reform, the fund's current assets can now be increased from just under CHF 34 billion by 2027 to more than CHF 56 billion before falling back to the present level (or slightly below) by 2035.

Will I get more or less pension?
According to calculations by the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office, the majority of the age and income classes after the reform have more pension rates than before. However, only income up to a maximum of CHF 84,600 per year was studied. However, more contributions have to be made to pension provision during the working age.
The largest profiteurs are – in gross terms – younger persons with a low wage level of up to 40,000 Swiss francs per month. An example: A 34-year-old woman who works part-time and has a yearly income of 40,000 francs receives 2,753 francs a year (total remuneration 29,024 francs per year), but at the same time makes her life 45'343 francs more pension contributions. However, half of these contributions paid to employers.
Are all the problems of precaution solved with the reform?
No. The first pillar follows the principle that funding can not be regulated once and for all, but must be adapted at regular intervals. Whenever financing problems threaten, the Federal Council must propose to the Parliament stabilization measures. There have already been ten major revisions since the introduction of the AHV in 1948. In the 2nd pillar, too, the Federal Council regularly adjusts the conversion rate, which determines the amount of the pension from occupational pensions. With the "AV 2020" reform, AHV and occupational pensions are to be placed on a secure financial basis by 2030. Thereafter, new reforms are likely to be needed.
Does the pension change for already retired persons?
No. Existing pensions remain unchanged for the first and second pillar. The changes concern only newcomers who are retiring from 2019 onwards.
What happens to a no?
In old-age provision (for the time being) everything remains as before. However, the financing problems would not be resolved and the more acute the longer the waiting period. The Federal Council would therefore have to come up with a new reform proposal as soon as possible.
Why are there two votes? And what happens when one of them is rejected?
Since the increase in VAT is a constitutional amendment, the law has to be voted separately. In order for the reform of the old age to occur, both technical questions must be accepted. In the "old-age provision 2020" reform, the Volksmehr is enough, and the increase in VAT (the majority of the cantons) is also needed for the increase in VAT.
Who is for this – and why?
Federal Council, SP, CVP, BDP, GLP and the Greens are in favor of the reform, which is a fair and balanced compromise. This is a compromise that is urgently needed, since no precautionary reform has taken a majority over the last 20 years. The amount of pensions can be secured in this way and the pension funds and the financing of the AHV can be stabilized in the next decade. The reform would also take into account social changes: the pre-employment situation improves for part-time workers and people with low incomes.
Who is against – and why?
On the one hand, the FDP and SVP are opposed to the reform. It was a pseudo-reform which only pushed the structural problems of the AHV. In addition, the generational contract would be broken as young people would have to pay more, but could not benefit from the pension level later on, as new reforms would be necessary until then. There are also oppositions, however, from Western trade unions, which are interfering with the increase in pension age for women and the lower conversion rate.
What are the current trend surveys?
According to a SRG trend survey, at the beginning of August 53 percent had approved the reform, 42 percent were against it and the remaining 5 percent were undecided. Another result came from a Tamedia survey: 48% of the reforms were rejected by 48%, with 47% of the votes cast and 5% of the undecided. Even more clear was the rejection in a cash survey in March with 4200 participants. In the survey, which only allowed "yes" and "no" as the answer, 58 percent rejected the reform.


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