Skip to content

Pensions: Switzerland votes against exit at 66, but for 13th month of pension

The Swiss are also facing pension reform. The country, whose aging population faces rising costs of living, voted this Sunday on two important proposals for pensioners: a 13-month pension and an increase in the retirement age. According to forecasts by the Swiss media Le Temps and RTS, 75% of the Swiss voted against the proposal to gradually increase the retirement age from 65 to 66 years. On the other hand, 58% voted for a thirteenth month pension. This initiative has also been adopted in most cantons, which is a prerequisite for its adoption.

The monthly Swiss social security pension is capped at CHF 2,450 (€2,570) for a single person and CHF 3,675 for a married couple in a country regularly ranked as one of the most expensive in the world. In the city, rent for a three-room apartment costs at least 3,000 francs (3,150 euros). Coffee costs more than five francs. If the Swiss give the go-ahead to the change, they won’t be the first in Europe: neighboring Liechtenstein, another expensive country that uses the Swiss franc, introduced a similar system several years ago.

“Purchasing Power Crisis”

“In Switzerland, as elsewhere, there is a crisis of purchasing power. The standard of living of pensioners is declining,” explains Pierre-Yves Maillard, president of the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions (SGB), who campaigned for a yes vote. Jacob Hauri, a pensioner quoted by the Yes campaign, shares the same opinion: “The cost of living is rising rapidly,” and the pension fund, “which is supposed to guarantee a living wage, is not keeping up.” Left parties supported this initiative, but it was fiercely opposed by right and center parties. The government and parliament also opposed this.

The government said the proposed increase would cost more than four billion Swiss francs a year, warning it would require higher taxes and could threaten the financial stability of the social security system. He also calculated that the proposed changes for all pensioners, regardless of their financial situation, would bring only limited social benefit. “If the initiative is adopted, many pensioners will receive the 13th social payment, even if they do not particularly need it,” federal authorities say.

The UDC, the country’s radical right-wing leading party, warned that the “irresponsible” initiative would allow freeloaders to drain the system. The party campaigned for a no vote with advertisements including an image of a 100-franc note being sucked down a manhole.

Most of the 26 cantons

Arguments that have borne fruit: in the latest survey conducted by gfs.bern for the public channel SSR, 53% of respondents said they supported the initiative, while 43% were against it, while a month earlier 61% of respondents were against it. in favor. To win approval, an initiative must not only receive a popular vote, but also a majority in at least half of Switzerland’s 26 cantons.

Voters also voted in favor of a proposal from the Liberal Party’s youth wing to gradually raise the pension age from 65 to 66 over the next decade to ensure the sustainability of the pension system’s funding. The vote comes less than two years after Swiss voters narrowly decided to raise the retirement age for women from 64 to 65, the same as for men. Most people voted in advance during the country’s regular elections.

Source: Le Parisien

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular