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 2018, 280 221 people received a new benefit from the age-old provision system. 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 2018, 86% 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 45% (PP pension), 44% (PP lump-sum), and 53% (pillar 3a lump-sum) of all new benefit recipients already receiving a retirement benefit before the legal retirement age in 2018. 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, 2018





PP (PF and VBI)

PP (PF and VBI)

Pillar 3a

Total (all age groups)1

89 651

42 548

52 930

95 092

Men (all age groups)

43 127

25 004

30 647

55 207

Women (all age groups)

46 524

17 427

22 195

39 728

Men (before legal RA)

4 517

11 991

13 617

29 669

Women (before legal RA)

4 085

7 263

9 557

20 970

Men (legal RA)

36 385

11 563

11 579

16 545

Women (legal RA)

40 428

8 089

8 182

13 074

Men (after legal RA)

2 225

1 450

5 451

8 993

Women (after legal RA)

2 011

2 075

4 456

5 684

1) In addition to men and women, the total also includes persons whose gender is not specified.
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 2020

New OASI and occupational pensions

The median new OASI pension was CHF 1772 per month in 2018. "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 1767 in 2018. People who received their pension at legal retirement age received the lowest pensions, followed by those who received their first pension after legal retirement age. The highest pensions were received by people who received their first pension before legal retirement age.

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 95 407.

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 44 708 in 2018 (median).

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

In 2018, 48% of all new recipients of a retirement benefit from a pension fund received exclusively a new pension. 33% only received a lump-sum and 19% both a new pension and a lump-sum. With 53%, women received exclusively a pension more often that men (44%). In contrast, men more often received both a lump-sum and a new pension (24% compared with 13% of women).

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