On 25 September 2016, the Swiss electorate voted on the popular initiative: 'OASIplus: for a decent old-age pension'.
The key issues in brief
In Switzerland, everyone is entitled to an old-age pension from the Old-Age and Survivors’ Insurance (OASI) scheme. The Federal Constitution stipulates that OASI pensions must be sufficient to cover basic living expenses adequately. The majority of pensioners need additional sources of income, normally from occupational pension schemes, to make ends meet. Those who do not have the income to cover their living expenses are entitled to claim supplementary benefits under the OASI system.
What does the initiative aim to achieve?
The popular initiative OASIplus demands that all current and future OASI old-age pensions be increased by 10 per cent. According to the authors of the initiative, the OASI should make a larger contribution than at present to pensioners’ incomes. This is necessary, they say, because people on low to medium incomes rely on receiving higher OASI pensions.
Opinion of the Federal Council and Parliament
The OASI faces serious financial challenges, because people born in the 1950s and 1960s, when the birth rate was high (the baby boomer generation) are now reaching retirement age. The additional costs of OASIplus would exacerbate this funding problem. In its Pension Provision 2020 programme, the Federal Council has proposed solving this problem through balanced reforms. Its programme covers both the OASI and occupational pension funds and will ensure that retirement pensions can continue to be funded at the current level. Neither the Federal Council nor Parliament sees any financial leeway for higher OASI pensions. Accordingly, they reject the initiative.
Last modification 24.01.2022