Transferring pension provision from Switzerland

Taking your pension insurance with you to Germany - Is that possible?
Antonia Sophie Belz
Juni 15, 2023
2 min

Das Wichtigste in Kürze

There is a bilateral agreement between Switzerland and
The state old-age pension of the AHV (old-age and survivors' insurance; 1st pillar) is paid to you despite your residence in Germany.
The assets in the pension fund (2nd pillar) must be distinguished between the compulsory and the super-compulsory. You can have the compulsory assets paid out to Germany only after retirement, the supplementary assets before that.

You have worked in Switzerland for some time and would like to move back to Germany and transfer your pension assets. However, you have already saved pension assets in Switzerland and do not want to let the saved amount lapse.

You can find the most important general information on transferring your pension plan here.

If you have worked or lived in Switzerland and have therefore made insurance contributions, you are entitled to a pension in Switzerland. Thanks to a bilateral agreement (supplement) between Germany and Switzerland, you can also draw this pension (AHV, pension fund and private pension) in Germany. The prerequisite for this is that you have completed the minimum insurance period of one year and have reached the prescribed retirement age.
If the contribution period is not sufficient to reach the minimum insurance period, you can have insurance periods from other EU member states added together.

1. AHV state retirement pension (1st pillar)

The state old-age pension of the AHV (old-age and survivors' insurance; 1st pillar) is paid to you despite your residence in Germany. This is a consequence of Switzerland's accession to the European social security agreement.
All you have to do is initiate the AHV pension procedure with your Swiss insurance institution or, if you are a national of an EU member state, submit an application for an AHV pension to the social insurance office in your current place of residence. The Swiss Compensation Office in Geneva serves as your contact.

2. Pension fund (2nd pillar)

The accumulated assets in the pension fund (2nd pillar) must be distinguished between the compulsory and the super-compulsory.
The compulsory part is the minimum amount that must be paid into the pension fund. The compulsory portion can only be paid out under certain circumstances before retirement age and when changing residence to Germany.
The over-compulsory part is contributions paid into the pension fund over and above the compulsory part. You can already have this paid out when you return to Germany.

How do you receive the mandatory from the pension fund?
Until retirement age, the pension assets are parked in a vested benefits account. When you reach retirement age, the assets are paid out without interest.
However, you also have the option of transferring your assets to a vested benefits foundation. In this case, you invest your pension fund assets in securities and there is the possibility of appreciation.

3. Private pension (3rd pillar)

For the 3rd pillar, private pension provision, it is irrelevant where you live after retirement. For the withdrawal of capital, at best contact the institution of your private pension.

4. Taxation of pension assets

Since 2005, pension payments from the AHV (1st pillar) have been taxed in Germany without crediting Swiss tax, provided you are a resident of and liable to tax in Germany.
Payments from the pension fund (2nd pillar) are taxed from a German perspective in the country of residence, Germany.

5. Any questions?

Do you have questions about your personal case?
STC will be happy to advise you - simply fill out the form below and contact us.

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