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When you receive a job offer from Switzerland, you often immediately notice the significantly higher salary. First of all, even in beautiful Switzerland, you are not protected from deductions from your salary. But these are much lower, so that there is much more net from the gross salary. The calculation of the net wage is not easy for emigrants at the beginning. In the following text, I explain which deductions there are and what two concrete examples in the pay slip look like.

AHV - Old age and survivors' insurance

This forms the 1st pillar in the Swiss pension system, the income is needed for current pensioners. The minimum AHV pension is CHF 1,185 and the maximum pension CHF 2,370 per month. For married couples, there is an additional upper limit of 3,555 francs for the sum of both pensions. The share for AHV/IV and EO amounts to a total of 5.125 % of gross salary. (Status 2019)

IV - Disability insurance

With this you are insured in the event of occupational disability.

EO - Income replacement scheme

This contribution is intended to cover military and civilian service and maternity leave.

ALV - unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance is in case you are dismissed and become unemployed. Up to 70% of insured earnings are paid out in daily allowances. Even if you give notice yourself, you are still entitled to unemployment benefit. However, if you lose your job through your own fault, you can expect to have your money cut back. This amounts to 2.20% of the gross annual salary up to 148,200 francs. For the wage shares above 148'200, only 1% is due. Employees and employers each pay half of the contributions. (Status 2019)

NBUV - Non-occupational accident insurance

The NBUV contribution is the own contribution for time outside working hours. The NBUV covers accidents that occur during free time. This insurance is even worth more than the normal health insurance in case of accidents. Since it covers considerably more benefits. As soon as you are employed more than 8 hours a week, you are automatically insured by your employer. If you work less or are self-employed, you must take out this insurance yourself with the health insurance company. The share for UVG and NBUV depends on the occupational group and ranges from 1.3 % to a maximum of 3 % of the gross wage, depending on the risk. The maximum insurable salary is CHF 126,000.

UVG - Accident Insurance Act

Cover for industrial accidents and occupational diseases. Appears together with the NBUV in the payroll run.

KTG - Daily Sickness Benefit Insurance

In the event of incapacity to work (illness, accident and pregnancy), this is important for continued payment of wages. However, the employer is not obliged to take out this insurance. The insurance guarantees continued salary payments over a certain period of time, over and above the legal minimum. This is usually 80% for 720 days. You should ask your employer about the exact regulation. The share of the daily sickness benefit insurance is usually between 0.4 and 0.6 % of the gross wage.

Pension Fund

The 2nd pillar in the Swiss pension system. The employer and the employee usually pay equal shares into this pension scheme. The amount of contributions depends on the employer and the age. Contributions are lower under 25, as only the risks of disability and death are covered for 17 - 24 year olds. Only after the age of 25 do the contributions include old-age insurance. The minimum annual salary is CHF 21,150. (Status 2019)

Church tax

If one is a church member this becomes due and is included in the withholding tax.

Withholding tax

Every foreign employee without a C-ID card is subject to withholding tax. The tax can best be compared with the German wage tax and is deducted directly from the wage by the employer each month and forwarded to the tax authorities. Decisive factors are residence, status, number of children, church member and income level. The amount of withholding tax is strongly influenced by these factors.

Health insurance

This does not appear in the payroll, nor does the employer make any contributions to it. Everyone is responsible for taking out health insurance and transferring contributions. Taking out health insurance is compulsory.

Private pension provision

This forms the 3rd pillar in retirement provision and is intended for you personally. On retirement, the interest-bearing capital can be withdrawn in full or paid out as a lifelong pension. If desired, this reserve can be paid out before reaching retirement age, for example for home ownership, setting up a business or when emigrating.

Payroll examples (Status 2019)

Example 1: Single, 35 years, non-denominational, no children, place of residence Basel Stadt

  Contribution Share
Gross salary 5'000.00 CHF  
AHV / IV / EO contribution 256.25 CHF 5.125 %
Unemployment Insurance 55.00 CHF 1.10 %
Non-occupational Accident Insurance 72.00 CHF 1.44 %
Daily Sickness Benefit Insurance 22.50 CHF 0.45 %
Pension Fund 240.00 CHF 4.80 %
Withholding tax 541.00 CHF 10.82 %
Net salary 3'813.25 CHF  


Example 2: Married, 40 years old, church member, 1 child, residence Lucerne

  Contribution Share
Gross salary 6'000.00 CHF  
AHV / IV / EO contribution 307.50 CHF 5.125 %
Unemployment Insurance 66.00 CHF 1.10 %
Non-occupational Accident Insurance 86.40 CHF 1.44 %
Daily Sickness Benefit Insurance 27.00 CHF 0.45 %
Pension Fund 311.20 CHF 5.19 %
Withholding tax 304.20 CHF 5.07 %
Net salary 4'897.70 CHF  

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