The social security and health committee (SGK-N) of the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss parliament, has sided with the reform of the country’s second pillar pension system proposed by social partners.

The Federal Council had already given its approval to a reform based on the model proposed by the social partners Swiss Employers’ Association (SAV), Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB) and Travail.Suisse.

The majority of the SGK-N members have agreed in a first provisional decision, on cutting the conversion rate, introducing a pension supplement, insured wages and saving age.

According to SGK-N, the minimum conversion rate used to calculate pension pay-outs should decrease from the current 6.8% to 6.0%. A pension supplement would be introduced to compensate for the loss on pension pay-outs caused by cutting the conversion rate.

The supplement would be financed in solidarity with a contribution of 0.5% on wages. The supplement would amount to CHF200 (€182) per month in the first five years from the introduction of a reduced conversion rate, to go down to CHF150 per month in the following five years and CHF100 for the five years after the second period.

The SGK-N was also in favour of starting to save for old age provisions at the age of 21 instead of 25, halving the deduction used to coordinate first and second pillar pensions, now at CHF25,095, and paying contributions in pension funds from the salary section between CHF12,548 and CHF86,040.

The contribution in pension funds would amount to 9% of the coordinated salary for employees aged between 21 and 44 years old, and 14% for those aged over 45 years old.

The obligation to sign up for a second pillar pension insurance should apply to employees with a salary of CHF21,510 per year and with several jobs, it said.

The committee also wanted to expand the possibilities of building voluntary pension provisions. Young employees whose wages are reduced by up to two thirds should be able to continue to insure their wages, and contributions to the third pillar should increase.

People without permanent jobs or a fixed-term employment contract should have the possibility to save for an occupational pension, the SGK-N said.

The committee will take the final decision on the proposals to reform the second pillar of the pension system after reading through the financial implications of the measures.

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