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 2020, 216 143 people received at least one new benefit from the old-age 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 2020, 89% of all new OASI pensioners received their old-age pension at the legal retirement age. 9% 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 42% (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 2020. 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, 2020
 

Pension

Lump-sum

Total2

 

OASI

PP (PF and VBI)

PP (PF and VBI)

Pillar 3a

 

           

Total (all age groups)1

93 718

44 315

58 917

111 188

216 143

Men (all age groups)

45 363

25 597

33 446

64 195

115 973

Women (all age groups)

48 355

18 603

25 374

46 869

99 834

Men (before legal RA)

4 551

11 465

14 461

35 137

56 169

Women (before legal RA)

4 155

7 279

10 682

24 658

41 086

Men (legal RA)

38 289

12 403

12 941

18 958

41 909

Women (legal RA)

41 699

8 631

9 241

15 364

44 037

Men (after legal RA)

2 523

1 729

6 044

10 100

17 895

Women (after legal RA)

2 501

2 693

5 451

6 847

14 711

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 2022

New OASI and occupational pension

The median new OASI pension was CHF 1787 per month in 2020. "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 1692 in 2020. For men, the monthly median pensions were highest among those who received their first pension before the legal retirement age of 65 (CHF 2553), followed by new recipients over the age of 65 (CHF 1998).  The monthly median pensions were lowest among the group of men who received their first pension at the legal retirement age of 65 (CHF 1782).

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 1354), followed by women retiring before the legal retirement age of 64 (CHF 1344). The lowest monthly median pensions are received by women at the legal retirement age (CHF 1000).

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

If the different age groups are considered for PP lump-sum withdrawals, the trends slightly differ from those seen for PP pensions. People making a lump-sum withdrawal prior to legal retirement age received the highest payments, followed by people with a lump-sum withdrawal at legal retirement age. The lowest lump-sum payments were made to people with a withdrawal after legal retirement age. Overall, the median PP lump-sum withdrawal was CHF 100 000.

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 45 681 in 2020 (median).

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

In 2020, 46% 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.1 With 51%, women received exclusively a pension more often that men (42%). In contrast, men more often received both a lump-sum and a new pension (24% compared with 14% of women).

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