Article written by Julie Pignier
The AVS individual account statement
What is the individual account statement?
The AVS compensation fund keeps individual accounts (under the insured person’s number) of the income from gainful and non-gainful activities for which contributions have been paid until the entitlement to an old-age pension is established.
The entry in the individual account of an insured person is made once a year.
The registration includes:
- The insured party’s number,
- The account statement number of the employer or the person who paid the contributions,
- A “key number” indicating the type of registration on the individual account,
- The gross annual income in francs, period,
- The information required to determine the amount for care work.
The AVS pension
The AVS pension is the amount that a person who carried out a gainful or non-gainful activity will receive from the AVS once they reach the ordinary retirement age. To expect to receive the maximum full pension of CHF 2,390 for a single person and a maximum pension of CHF 3585 for a married couple, three main factors are to be taken into account:
- The number of years of contributions of people with or without gainful employment (AVS contributions must have been paid in full from 1st January following the 20th birthday until the ordinary retirement age (65 for men, 64 for women), i.e. for a total of 44 or 43 years),
- The average annual income over the entire career (maximum for 2021 CHF 86,040 – the AVS considers a maximum annual salary of CHF 86,040 each year; this annual amount depends on the increase in the AVS pension. It is reviewed on average every two years),
- The correct consideration of all contributions paid.
For each year in which no AVS contributions have been paid, the pension is reduced by 1/44. The calculation of the reduction is the same for men and women.
It is therefore very important that the contributions mentioned on the salary certificate have been deducted from the AVS by the employer.
Requesting an account statement
The procedure is very simple, you just have to contact a compensation fund that keeps an individual account for the applicant. For example, it can be the compensation fund of the current employer (or via Swiss fund if the insured person lives abroad). It is advisable to request an account statement approximately every 4 to 5 years. This procedure is free of charge.
Where can I find the list of compensation funds?
You can find the list of compensation funds directly on the AVS website. You will find a list by canton and a list by compensation fund directly. You just have to click on the name of the compensation fund to be redirected on the page where you can request your account statement.
What should I do if I have a contribution gap?
You should write to the compensation fund that was responsible for collecting contributions at the time of the contribution gap or to the fund that is now collecting contributions and explain the situation. Do not forget to bring along supporting documents such as the corresponding salary certificates. The compensation fund can reclaim any contributions that have not been deducted within 5 years. Depending on the situation, the compensation fund may also request any other proof (e.g. bank statements for the period in question).
Causes of contribution gaps
It is necessary to be vigilant, especially in the following cases:
- Multiple assignments of relatively short duration with several employers. Beware, you need to understand whether you have reached the minimum annual contribution threshold. Indeed, salaries lower than CHF 2,300 per employer and per calendar year are exempt from contributions (salary of minimal importance),
- Long stay abroad: is it a trip or an emigration? It is advisable to contact the AVS fund in this case,
- Receipt of daily allowances from an insurance company in case of accident or illness: if a person is temporarily unable to work due to an illness or an accident, they receive insurance allowances which are not wages and therefore not subject to contributions,
- No AVS contributions during the years of study: students are subject to contributions, even if they are not gainfully employed,
- Divorce, retirement of the spouse: during a marriage or a registered partnership, if one spouse is gainfully employed and the other is not, the gainfully employed spouse automatically contributes for the non-working spouse if they pay twice the minimum contribution to the AVS. Please note that in the event of divorce or retirement, the non-working spouse must contact the AHV fund and register, and becomes responsible for paying the minimum contribution,
- Failure of an employer to pay AVS contributions: in this case, the employee must prove and justify that they were working during the period in question and that AVS contributions were indeed deducted from them
How do I make up contribution gaps?
- Missing contributions can be paid up to 5 years,
- Possibility for parents to benefit from credits for educational tasks for the years when their children were under 16 years old,
- Request to take into account the years of youth for people who have followed an apprenticeship between 17 and 20 years,
- If it is not possible to fill the gaps in contributions in this way, it may be worthwhile, depending on the financial situation of each person, to fill the gap independently by making 2nd pillar buy back or by contributing with a 3rd pillar (bank or insurance).
Would you like to know more? Please contact us!