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Social insurance - the changes happening in 2021

Social insurance - the changes happening in 2021

Paternity leave

Fathers are now entitled to a 2-week paternity leave, which they can take as a whole or per day, within six months of the birth. Entitlement to the allowance and the framework period run from the day of birth.

As with maternity leave, paternity leave is financed by the federal loss of earnings allowance (APG) scheme. To this end, a 0.05 point increase in the social contributions concerned has been implemented. The deduction to finance APG therefore goes from 0.45 to 0.5% of salary.


Contribution rate and contributions

These are the new rates in effect from January 1, 2021. Regarding cantonal maternity and family allowances, we use the figures for the canton of Geneva.

Source: FER CIAM


Support for caregivers

The new federal law on improving the balance between professional activity and the care of relatives comes into force in two stages, on January 1 and July 1, 2021.


From January 1, 2021

Short-term work absences

Paid leave is introduced in the Code of Obligations so that workers can take care of a family member (children, parents, step-parents, brothers / sisters) or their partner (husband / wife, registered partners, cohabiting partners) due to illness or accident. This leave can last a maximum of three days per case and must not exceed ten days per year.


Gratification for assistance tasks in the AVS

The right to gratification for assistance tasks in the AVS is extended to allow more disabled people to lead an independent existence at home. With the new law, caregivers will also be able to receive this gratification if the person requiring care is in receipt of a low helplessness allowance. Cohabiting partners will also be able to benefit from it, if the couple have been living together for at least 5 years.


Adaptation of the right to the disability allowance from the disability insurance (Assurance invalidité : AI) and the supplement for intensive care

The intensive care supplement and the disability insurance allowance for children are also adjusted so that the right is no longer waived on days when the child is in hospital. If the hospitalization lasts more than a month, this aid will continue to be paid, provided that the presence of the parents in the hospital is necessary.


The care leave will come into effect on July 1, 2021

The new federal law also grants working parents 14 weeks leave for the care of a seriously ill or injured child. Compensated by the allowance for loss of earnings (APG) scheme, this leave can be within 18 months, as a whole or per day. Here too, 80% of the income is insured, with a maximum of CHF 196 per day.


AVS - 1st pillar

Increase in 1st pillar pensions: AVS / AI pensions are adapted to changes in prices and salaries from 1 January. In principle, the Federal Council examines the need to readjust the amounts every 2 years. Thus, the minimum pension goes from CHF 1,185 to CHF 1,195 per month; the maximum pension from CHF 2370 to CHF 2390 per month (for a full contribution period).

The annual amounts of additional benefits, intended to cover basic needs, will increase from CHF 19,450 to CHF 19,610 for single people and from CHF 29,175 to CHF 29,415 for couples. Regarding children, the amounts increase to CHF 10,260 for children over 11 and to CHF 7,200 for children under 11.


Increase in AVS / AI / APG contributions: AVS / AI / APG contributions increase from 10.55 to 10.6%


Occupational pension

Adjustment of limit amounts: The minimum annual salary (or threshold for access to the 2nd pillar) amounts to CHF 21,510 from 1 January. The coordination deduction increases to CHF 25,095 per year. For pillar 3a, the maximum tax deduction is CHF 6,883 for people linked to a contribution from the 2nd pillar and CHF 34,416 for people who are not.

Minimum interest rate: The Federal Council has decided to leave the minimum interest rate in compulsory pension plan insurance fixed at 1% in 2021. The rate determines the minimum interest at which the retirement assets are paid under the compulsory pension plan scheme. The rate of 1%, in force since 2017, is the lowest in the history of Swiss pensions plans.


The entry into force on January 1, 2021 of the reform of supplementary benefits will also lead to changes in pension plan. Thanks to this reform allowing to better protect an elderly unemployed person, the person who loses their job at 58 years or more has the possibility to continue to be insured by their provident institution with the same rights as the other insured persons. Provident coverage (invalidity, death and old age) is maintained and the person still benefits each year from the interest distributed by the provident institution as well as from a retirement benefit in the form of an annuity at the conversion rate applicable at the time of retirement.


Source: CIEPP


Health insurance

The Federal Department of Home Affairs announced last September that the average premium for compulsory health insurance in Switzerland would increase by 0.5% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Since 2010, the average premium has increased by 3.2% per year on average.


Reform of occupational pension

After the rejection of the pension reform in September 2017, the Federal Council decided to separate the reforms of the 1st and 2nd pillars. Thus, the reform of the AVS (AVS 21), which is already on the desk of the Federal Chambers, plans to raise the reference age for women to 65, with compensation measures, to make retirement departures more flexible, as well as to increase VAT to finance AVS. As for the reform of the 2nd pillar (LPP 21), the message adopted by the Federal Council and sent to Parliament at the end of 2020 consists in proposing to reduce the conversion rate of pensions to 6% and to offer compensation to insured such as a supplement to the pension allocated to retirees, the reduction in the coordination deduction and the rescheduling of retirement credits.