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Social insurance in Switzerland

Social insurance with Manpower

Manpower grants temporary employees the same benefits as a traditional company with regard to social rights and social insurance. Your salary is set by your advisor at the start of each temporary assignment. It is composed of a base salary plus vacation pay (8.33% or 10.64% for employees who are either less than 20 years old or over 50 years old). Moreover, you will automatically contribute to the OASI as well as the DI.

In some cases, you will also contribute to the Pension fund, commonly referred to as the 2nd pillar, governed by the Swiss Federal Law on Occupational Old-Age, Survivors' and Disability Benefit Plans (LPP).  This applies to those who have a spouse or dependents, or whose assignment contract exceeds three months (13 weeks) – including cases in which the contract is extended or multiple assignments are accumulated.

The individual provision is based on voluntary savings administered by an insurance company, bank or private institution.

The OASI

In accordance with Swiss law, OASI and DI premiums are deducted from your salary. The OASI is mandatory insurance benefiting all those who live or work in Switzerland.  It operates according to the principle of solidarity between generations. As the primary pillar of the Swiss welfare system, the OASI aims to provide for financial security after retirement or following the death of a parent or spouse.

The following people are required to contribute:

  • Any person over the age of 18 who is engaged in paid activity in Switzerland (including foreign workers and those living across the border).

  • Any retired person receiving an OASI pension who wishes to pursue paid activity in Switzerland (based on their monthly revenue in excess of CHF 1,400).

  • Any person domiciled in Switzerland but not engaged in paid activity (students, people with disabilities, people of independent means, homemaker spouses, etc.)

The contribution rate is calculated based on your salary and your age. For people who are not engaged in paid activity, the OASI contribution is based on a fixed amount. This prevents them from receiving a reduced pension at retirement age, which happens when no contributions are made for a period of years.

More information about OASI

The occupational pension plan

As the second pillar of the Swiss social insurance system, the occupational pension plan aims to maintain an individual's standard of living after retirement by supplementing the OASI pension.
Only individuals who have been engaged in paid activity capitalize for their 2nd pillar, but there is a minimum annual salary required before becoming an LPP member and receiving LPP benefits at retirement.

"The retirement benefit depends on the savings accumulated through the employee's and employer's joint contributions, augmented by the interest arising from the income from capital. There is a guaranteed minimum interest rate. The contribution rate increases with age, to account for the progressively shorter duration of the savings process. Assuming a full contribution period, the LPP retirement pension added to the OASI pension must make it possible to obtain 60% of the last salary insured by law."*

*Excerpt from the "Dictionnaire suisse de politique sociale" by Jean-Pierre Fragnière and Roger Girod, 2002 edition.  (in French)

As an employer, Manpower registers you for LPP starting on the first day of your assignment if your assignment contract exceeds 3 months (13 weeks), or as soon as all assignments carried out for Manpower add up to 3 months (13 weeks) within a 12 month period, or if you have one or more minor dependents. .

More information on the LPP

More information on social insurance in Switzerland

Individual provision

Anyone may set up an individual old age pension by entering into a provision contract with an insurance company, banking institution or by taking out a life insurance policy.

There are two types of individual pension plans: a tied individual pension plan (3a), which is linked to paid activity, and an unrestricted pension plan (3b), which is more like a long-term savings plan. An individual pension plan generates tax breaks and can be unlocked to facilitate home ownership. The terms, benefit amounts and other conditions depend upon the product chosen.

Excerpt from the brochure entitled "Living and working in Switzerland" published by the State Secretariat for Migration. The brochure exists in Albanian, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tamil and Turkish.

Health and accident insurance

In Switzerland, health insurance is the employee's responsibility. This insurance is mandatory for any person domiciled in the territory of the Confederation. It is up to the individual to choose a provider.  There are over 90 providers recognized by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Providers must accept any individual without any conditions or waiting period, regardless of their age or health status. The same is not true when applying for supplementary insurance, which is subject to certain conditions.

People from across the border who work in Switzerland have the choice to either buy their health insurance in their country of residence or from a provider in Switzerland.

As for accident insurance, from the start of your assignment your employer is responsible for insuring workplace accidents.  If the number of work hours exceeds 8 hours a week on average, the employer insures non-work related accidents as well.

If you work fewer than 8 hours on average per week in Switzerland, contact your health insurance provider to extend your health insurance coverage to non-work related accidents.

If you do not immediately find a new employer at the end of a contract in Switzerland, you have a short period of time in which to register for accident insurance. Check this with your employer or with Suva. You may also ask to include accident insurance cover under your health insurance. If your status changes from unemployed to employed, contact your health or accident insurance company to cancel the accident clause of your coverage.

Find out more about health insurance in Switzerland on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health and on ch.ch

More information about life and work in Switzerland on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration and on ch.ch

For detailed information check out the brochure “Living and working in Switzerland