New pensions statistics

Statistics on new recipients of old-age provision benefits (new pensions statistics)

The new pensions statistics (NRS) is an exhaustive data collection that describes the number of new recipients of old-age pensions or lump-sum withdrawals from the Swiss old-age provision system. Data are available for all three pillars. In addition to the number of new recipients, the statistic also includes the amount of benefits paid.

Number of new recipients of benefits from the old-age provision system

In 2019, 207 842 people received at least one new benefit from the age-old provision system (excluding double counting). The gender ratio is relatively even with regard to old-age and survivors' insurance (OASI) retirement benefits. In contrast, considerably more men received a benefit from the 2nd or 3rd pillar than women. This difference can be explained by the fact that for family reasons, women are more likely than men to forego employment or to receive wages that fall below the threshold for paying into an occupational pension plan (PP). However, most recipients are married. In these cases, the household is generally an economic unit with the available financial means being divided essentially more equally between the genders than the benefits paid individually.

In 2019, 85% of all new OASI pensioners received their old-age pension at the legal retirement age. 10% received their OASI pension before the legal retirement age. In comparison to OASI, the first receipt of PP and pillar 3a benefits is handled more flexibly with 43% (PP pension), 43% (PP lump-sum), and 54% (pillar 3a lump-sum) of all new benefit recipients already receiving a retirement benefit before the legal retirement age in 2019. It must be noted that it is unknown how the employment status or the work quota of these persons changes at the time the benefit is received. In addition, no cohorts are considered, which means that the percentages given are not classic advance withdrawal rates.

New recipients of old-age provision benefits, 2019
 

Pension

Lump-sum

Total2

 

OASI

PP (PF and VBI)

PP (PF and VBI)

Pillar 3a

 

Total (all age groups)1

91 474

42 869

55 656

104 885

207 842

Men (all age groups)

44 287

25 028

31 941

60 633

111 728

Women (all age groups)

47 187

17 774

23 592

44 194

95 868

Men (before legal RA)

4 640

11 545

13 996

33 433

54 169

Women (before legal RA)

4 040

7 021

10 079

23 427

39 277

Men (legal RA)

37 220

11 855

12 149

17 836

40 590

Women (legal RA)

40 791

8 417

8 478

14 404

42 954

Men (after legal RA)

1 256

1 628

5 796

9 364

16 969

Women (after legal RA)

1 366

2 336

5 035

6 363

13 637

1) In addition to men and women, the total also includes persons whose gender is not specified.
2) This column indicates the totals of the beneficiaries per row, excluding double counting of persons and benefits.
Remarks:
OASI = old-age and survivors' insurance
PP = occupational pension plan
PF = pension funds
VBI = vested benefits institutions
RA = retirement age
Further remarks can be found in table T1 of the publication “Neurentenstatistik 2015 – Definitive Resultate im Überblick” (available in German, French and Italian).
Source: FSO – New pensions statistics (NRS)
© FSO 2021

New OASI and occupational pensions

The median new OASI pension was CHF 178672 per month in 20198. "Median" means that 50% of the persons received a higher pension and 50% a lower pension. The OASI pensions of people who received their pension before legal retirement age, were, as one would expect, somewhat lower than the pensions of those who received their pension at the age of 65 or 64 respectively.

The median monthly new occupational pension was CHF 171367 in 20198. For men, the monthly median pensions were highest among those who received their first pension before the legal retirement age of 65 (CHF 2702), followed by new recipients over the age of 65 (CHF 2143).  The monthly median pensions were lowest among the group of men who received their first pension at the legal retirement age of 65 (CHF 1785).

For women, in contrast, we observe a slightly different pattern. The highest monthly median pensions are received by those retiring after the legal retirement age (CHF 1410), followed by women retiring before the legal retirement age of 64 (CHF 1321). The lowest monthly median pensions are received by women at the legal retirement age (CHF 990).

Lump-sum withdrawals from occupational pension plans and pillar 3a

If the different age groups are considered for PP lump-sum withdrawals, the trends differ from those seen for PP pensions. People making a lump-sum withdrawal after legal retirement age received the highest payments, followed by people with a lump-sum withdrawal prior to legal retirement age. The lowest lump-sum payments were made to people with a withdrawal at legal retirement age. Overall, the median PP lump-sum withdrawal was CHF 97 904.

In contrast to the PP, no particular differences can be seen between age groups for lump-sum withdrawals from the 3a pillar. They amounted to CHF 45 839 in 2019 (median).

New recipients of a retirement benefit from occupational pension funds, by combination of benefits and gender

In 2019, 47% of all new recipients of a retirement benefit from a pension fund received exclusively a new pension. 34% only received a lump-sum and 20% both a new pension and a lump-sum. With 52%, women received exclusively a pension more often that men (43%). In contrast, men more often received both a lump-sum and a new pension (24% compared with 14% of women).

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