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Swiss second-pillar gets boost with rule change

SWITZERLAND - More than 100,000 extra workers will be eligible to join the second-pillar pension from 2005, as the Federal council has confirmed changes to the rules on marginal income.

In a move to make sure that more low-income workers are insured, the cabinet has decided to lower the threshold from 25,320 francs (16,517 euros) a year to 22,575.

This means workers will pay contributions based on the subtraction of 22,575 from their income, so a worker on 30,000 francs a year would pay contributions on 7,425 francs, explained an official at the social security department.

The official said the change could effect about 100,000 workers, especially women.

Workers on an income from 19,350, insured with the first-pillar insurance AVS, are also eligible to enter the second-pillar and their contributions will be calculated subtracting 19,350 from 22,575.

The cabinet has also increased the AVS pension from 1,055 francs a month to 1,075.

The changes will be implemented from January 2005.

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