The social protection system's receipts are intended to cover expenditure on social benefits as well as administrative costs and other expenditure. The continual increase in receipts is a reflection of the continual increase in expenditure. Receipts may fluctuate temporarily, influenced by the ups and downs of the financial markets and the real economy. Occasional fluctuations may occur as a result of political intervention, such as the federal government's injection of capital into the unemployment insurance in 2020.

Social protection receipts in Switzerland between 1995 and 2022
  1995 2005 2015 2020p 2021p 2022e

CHF billion (at current prices)







CHF billion (at constant prices)







In CHF per capita (at constant prices)

18 300

21 600

26 200

30 300

29 200

28 800

p provisional
e estimated
Source: Total social security accounts (TSSA), version 20.12.2023.

In Switzerland

Decline in federal contributions

As a reflection of the reduction in expenditure, receipts (i.e. the sources of funding for social protection) fell by CHF 1.6 billion between 2021 and 2022: total receipts amounted to CHF 251.6 billion. The decrease in receipts can mainly be attributed to the decline in federal contributions following a return to normal after the pandemic (- CHF 7.6 billion). At the same time, employers' social security contributions and property income gained in importance (+4.1 and +1.4 CHF billion respectively).

Funding based on social contributions

The Swiss social protection system is mainly funded by social contributions (65,8%). These include, by definition, employer social contributions (30,1%), the social contributions of protected persons (24,9%) and health insurance premiums (10,8%).

In order of importance, the second source of funding comes from public contributions (23,2%). These include contributions from the Confederation (10,0%) and cantonal and communal contributions (13,2%). Other receipts complete the funding of the system: these are mainly from property income (11,0%).

Funding sources vary widely between schemes. Public social insurances, such as the old-age and survivors’ insurance (OASI), the invalidity insurance (IV) and the unemployment insurance, are for the most part funded by social contributions and, to a lesser extent, by contributions from the Confederation. Based on the capital cover system, 24,7% of the occupational pension plan is funded by property income (housing stock, investment funds, etc.).

The contribution from the cantons is mainly allocated to the healthcare system (CHF 15,0 billion), to OASI and IV supplementary benefits (CHF 3,9 billion together), to economic social assistance (CHF 3,0 billion) and to the compulsory health insurance (CHF 2,8 billion).

In Europe

Increase in social receipts in 2021

In 2021, the recovery in economic activity had a positive impact in several countries, including on social protection receipts and in particular on employers' and employees' social security contributions. In Italy, France and Austria, social security contributions rose by 5.8%, 5.4% and 3.2% respectively, compared with the previous year. In Germany, they remained fairly stable (+0.6%). In Switzerland, the effect of the economic recovery on social security contributions in 2021 cannot be seen, because in 2020 there was an exceptional peak in contributions, linked to salary payment covered in the event of illness and to one-off contributions by employers into occupational pension funds. Between 2020 and 2021, therefore, social security contributions in Switzerland fell by 2.8%.

Another important source of funding for social protection is public contributions. Most European countries saw an increase in public contributions in 2021: such was the case in Austria (+6.2%), France (+3.5%) and to a lesser extent, Germany (+0.6%). COVID-19 screening and vaccination campaigns in these countries probably contributed to this trend. This increase was offset by lower financial demands on unemployment benefits: in certain countries, such as Switzerland (-3.9%) and Italy (-3.3%), public contributions thus fell.

Diverse funding methods

The way in which the social protection system is funded in Europe varies from country to country. In the Scandinavian countries, as well as in Ireland and Italy, at least 50% of the volume of social benefits is government-funded. In other countries, social contributions predominate. The social contributions of protected persons (e.g. employee contributions) play a greater role in the countries of central Europe such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and even more so in Romania (64.6%). The proportion of other receipts exceeds the threshold of 10% in Iceland, Malta, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Further information



Other statistics on financial flows of social protection

Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Social Welfare
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel

+41 58 461 44 44


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