SWITZERLAND – The Swiss government has proposed several first-pillar reforms, including equalising the legal retirement age for male and female workers and reducing the amount of the reserve fund for the state pension scheme.

Under the proposals, which have gone to the Swiss parliament for consideration, the legal retirement age for female and male workers is to be harmonised at 65. Currently women may retire at 62.

However, the proposals also envision a ‘transitory state pension’ for low-income workers between the ages of 62 and 65. Contrary to previous statements, the government does not plan to abolish benefits for people who are widowed but without children.

However, the government wants to abolish an exemption, worth CHF1,400 (€908), that employed retirees get from statutory pension contributions.

"In addition, the government wants to amend a requirement that the reserve fund equal 100% of annual expenditure on state pensions to 70%.

It proposes that should the reserve fund fall below 70% of the annual expenditure, the state benefit only be raised every two years and solely on the condition that the inflation rate since the previous increase have exceeded 4%.

The Swiss Federal Social Security Agency estimates that by 2020, the first-pillar reforms could save the government at least CHF300m.