Supplementary Benefits

Supplementary benefits (SB) are paid out according to the financial needs of the person concerned. They are paid out to recipients drawing a pension for old-age or disability who live in Switzerland and are unable to cover minimum living costs with their total income. The SB thus follow the principle of finality and differ structurally to social insurances that are paid out regardless of need following the principle of causality.

According to the principle of subsidiarity they precede economic social assistance – i.e. social assistance in a narrower sense – and are functionally considered together with this as social assistance in a broader sense.


Supplementary benefits are financed out of tax revenue by the federal authorities, the cantons and partly by the municipalities. They are not paid for by contributions on salaries.

Statistical data

The main data on financing and supplementary benefits of AHV and IV recipients can be found at the Federal Social Insurance Office The findings of the supplementary benefits AHV/IV statistics can be accessed in the form of detailed data on the German and French webpages.

Main results about supplementary benefits, 2023

Number of supplementary benefits recepients


Number of supplementary benefits recepients to the AHV


Number of supplementary benefits recepients to the survivors insurance


Number of supplementary benefits recepients to the IV


Total expenditures for supplementary benefits

5,712 mio CHF 

Source: Federal Social Insurance Office FSIO, Supplementary benefits statistics, 2022

Further information


Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Income, consumption and living conditions
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 463 64 21



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