Social security

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In focus

Recipients of social benefits

Swiss statistics on social assistance recipients

Despite economic growth, the number of people receiving social assistance varied little between 2005 and 2017.
The main groups at risk are persons with no post-compulsory education, children, foreign nationals, single-parent families and persons living

Occupational pension plans

Pension funds statistics

The pension fund statistics provide an overview of the current situation and developments in occupational pension funds in Switzerland. The survey is conducted exclusively among pension fund institutions governed by public or private law. It is used as a source of data for the national accounts and the total social security accounts.

The main figures

Main results about social security




Social assistance rate


Social assistance statistics 2017

Number of social assistance recipients

278 345

Social assistance statistics 2017

Share of foreign nationals among social assistance recipients


Social assistance statistics  2017

Net expenditure on financial social assistance

2.8 bn. CHF 

Means-tested social benefits: financial statistics 2017

Rate of social assistance broadly defined


Social assistance statistics

Expenditure on social security system benefits, as a % of GDP


Total social security accounts 2016

Total of regular pension benefits of 2nd pillar (old-age pension benefits and lump-sum withdrawal)

36.7 bn. CHF 

Statistics of pension funds 2017

Total number of 2nd pillar pension recipients (old-age pension benefits and lump-sum withdrawal)

1.19 MM. 

Statistics of pension funds 2017

Proportion of early retirements in Switzerland (1 year before the age of OASI, self-stated)


Swiss Labour Force Survey 2015

Rate of supplementary benefit recipients, AVS/AHV pensioners


Supplementary benefits statistics 2017

Sources: Social assistance statistics, Means-tested social benefits: financial statistics, Inventory of means-tested social benefits, Swiss Labour Force Survey, Population and Households Statistics, Total social security accounts, Pension fund statistics, Statistics on AHV and IV supplementary benefits

Further information

Press releases


Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Total social security accounts

Synthesis statistic on the funding of social protection in Switzerland and Europe.

Occupational pension plans

The purpose of occupational pension funds is, together with AHV/AVS, to enable old, disabled or widowed persons to maintain their previous standard of living.

Social insurance

For residents living and working in Switzerland, the social insurances cover risks for which the financial consequences would be too great.

Social assistance

Presentation of social assistance benefit recipients in the cantons by relevant inventory and expenditure.

Social reports

Analysis of relationship between the components of the social protection system and economic and social context to determine social risks


Federal Statistical Office
Section Social Analyses
Social Welfare

Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel


+41 58 463 64 21


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