The death and disability benefits insured on termination of the pension relationship remain insured without any changes until the beginning of a new pension relationship, but at the longest for one month (maximum extension period).
Leaving the Pension Fund
What happens when you leave the Pension Fund?
If the employment contract of an employee is terminated by the employer or the employee, the employee has to leave the Pension Fund. According to the Federal Law on Vesting in Pension Plans (FZG), the accrued retirement savings (also known as withdrawal benefit or vested benefits) must always be transferred to the pension fund of the new employer in Switzerland. If the new employer is not yet known, the accrued retirement savings have to be transferred to a vested benefits account with a vested benefits foundation or used to take out a vested benefits policy with an insurance company.
Under very restricted conditions, the retirement savings can also be paid out in cash, e.g. if the insured person takes up self-employment or permanently leaves Switzerland, or if the withdrawal benefit is smaller than one annual contribution.
If the Pension Fund does not receive any instructions about the use of the vested benefits within six months of the insured person's departure, the vested benefits are transferred to the Foundation for the BVG Contingency Fund.
From what date am I no longer insured with PKL?
If I meet the criteria for a cash payment, what documents do I have to submit for a cash payment to be made?
If the criteria for a cash payment are met, the insured person must submit the following documents:
a) An official confirmation must be submitted if the departing person is permanently leaving Switzerland or will no longer work in Switzerland as a cross-border commuter.
b) If the insured person is moving to an EU/EFTA country, the extra-mandatory portion of the vested benefits (VB) can be paid out in cash. The form required for applying for the additional cash payment of the mandatory BVG vested benefits can be obtained from the BVG Contingency Fund at www.verbindungsstelle.ch.
c) If the insured person is moving to a non-EU/EFTA country, the total vested benefits can be paid out in cash. A confirmation of residence issued by the new country of domicile must be submitted.
d) If the insured person takes up self-employment as their primary occupation and is no longer subject to the mandatory employee benefits insurance, a confirmation issued by the AHV Compensation Fund must be submitted.
As a general rule, a certificate of marital status or another official confirmation of marital status and the certified signature of the insured person and, depending on their marital status, also the certified signature of their spouse/registered partner are required for all cash payment transactions.
Can I also have my vested benefits paid out in cash?
Insured persons can request the cash payment of their vested benefits if they:
- Will be leaving Switzerland permanently, but not to take up residence in Liechtenstein;
- Will be taking up self-employment and will no longer be subject to the mandatory employee benefits insurance
- or if their vested benefits amount is less than their annual personal contribution
A distinction is made between the following two cases if the insured person is leaving Switzerland permanently:
Moving to an EU/EFTA country
The extra-mandatory portion of the vested benefits (VB) can be paid out in cash. The mandatory vested benefits must be transferred to a vested benefits account.
Moving to a non-EU/EFTA country
The total vested benefits (VB) can be paid out in cash.
Can I also have my vested benefits transferred directly to a foreign pension fund, e.g. in the UK?
No, the vested benefits cannot be transferred to a foreign pension fund.
Can I leave my vested benefits with the Lonza Pension Fund until I have a new employer?
No, if you do not yet have a new employer when your employment relationship ends, you are obliged by law to open a vested benefits account with a bank or take out a vested benefits policy with an insurance company and have your vested benefits transferred to this account. If no instructions are received within six months, the vested benefits will automatically be transferred to the BVG Contingency Fund.
How do I transfer my assets from PKL to my new pension scheme (pension fund or vested benefits foundation)?
How long will it take for my vested benefits to be paid out?
The time required will depend on the quality of the documents that are submitted. If the required documents are submitted in full and correctly, the vested benefits are paid out within two weeks of submission. Payments are usually made on Fridays. If the documents are incomplete or incorrect, payment can only be made when the complete set of documents is received.
How much are my vested benefits?
The vested benefits (VB) equal the full retirement savings that have been accrued with the employee benefits insurance until the insured person's departure (full vesting pursuant to the Vested Benefits Act).
What claims do I have after leaving PKL?
If the employment relationship of a person who is capable of working is terminated before retirement savings have been accrued (< 25 Jahre), the pension relationship ceases at that date without giving rise to any entitlement. If retirement savings are available, the departing person is entitled to vested benefits if they cannot claim a retirement pension but have not yet reached the regular retirement age and remain in gainful employment or are receiving benefits from the unemployment insurance.
What do I have to do to leave PKL?
When you leave your employer's company, the employer will automatically notify the pension fund of your departure. You do not have to do anything yourself regarding your departure from the pension fund. You simply have to complete the "Service exit" form sent to you by post and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find the documents here:
What happens to my vested benefits if I fail to notify PKL of a new pension fund or vested benefits account?
If you fail to notify PKL of a new pension fund or vested benefits account, your vested benefits will be transferred to the BVG Contingency Fund after six months.
What must I do with my vested benefits if I do not yet have a new employer?
If you do not yet have a new employer when your employment relationship ends, you are obliged by law to open a vested benefits account with a bank or take out a vested benefits policy with an insurance company and have your vested benefits transferred to this account.
Will I be informed about the transfer of my vested benefits to the new pension fund?
After the transfer of your vested benefits, PKL will inform you in writing about the payment/transfer of your vested benefits.
Will my vested benefits continue to earn interest? If yes, at what rate of interest?
After your departure, your retirement savings will continue to earn interest at the rate determined by the Board of Trustees until their transfer to your new pension fund. This is usually the minimum BVG interest rate for the current year for all departing insured persons.