Frequently asked questions


The Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution is unique: a non-profit organisation that operates on behalf of the Federal Council, it is the only pension fund in Switzerland to provide compulsory occupational pensions (LOB) to all individuals and employers who request affiliation, and looks after more than 1.3 million customers with vested benefits accounts. As a private foundation supported by employees’ and employers’ associations,  it acts as a key cornerstone of Pillar 2 provision and provides important support for the stability of the system.

The Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution has seen constant growth, and manages total assets of over 21 billion Swiss francs. It employs around 200 people at its three locations in Zurich, Lausanne and Bellinzona.

Why can’t I communicate with the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution by email?

Why can’t I communicate with the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution by email?
We have more than a million customers. We receive a total of around 1.5 million emails per year. This huge quantity means that it  is not practicable to reply to every email individually. Furthermore, there are various processes that require the relevant person to prove their identity, which cannot be done by email. We understand the need for digital communication and take this seriously. We offer various online forms and the platform, where you can submit missing documents in electronic form. Other online services are currently being tested.

Vested benefits accounts

Vested benefits – also referred to as termination benefits – are the assets that all insured persons accumulate with their pension scheme if they pay savings contributions.

The benefit capital/savings assets that you have accrued are transferred to a vested benefits account. This happens if you are temporarily between employers or are no longer affiliated to a pension scheme. The assets are used solely for the purpose of occupational pensions.

At present there are no charges or fees for account management. An administration charge is levied in the event of an early withdrawal or pledging for home ownership purposes (WEF). Further information can be found under the respective heading:

Promotion of home ownership (WEF)

The current interest rates applied by the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution may be found at: Interest rates

If you do not inform your former employer’s pension scheme where to transfer your assets, the vested benefits will be transferred to the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution after six months at the earliest, but no later than after 24 months.

As a general rule, you only have one account at the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution.

We are unable to state whether the vested benefits received comprise all of your assets or are only a part of the total amount.

2nd Pillar Central Office is responsible for conducting searches for pension fund assets:

You can submit a written request to the Central Office, which will then compare your personal details with notifications received from pension providers and inform you if a match is found.

We only have information about the pension scheme which transferred the money, not the employer. For queries regarding the employer or any other information, please contact the corresponding pension scheme directly.

If you are employed and affiliated to a pension scheme through your employer, please arrange for the transfer of your assets to the pension scheme.
The relevant form is available here:
Transfer to new pension fund

Yes, you can deposit your assets with us until you return to employment. However, you also have the option of transferring your assets to another vested benefits foundation or a vested benefits policy.

Under certain conditions, a cash payout of the vested benefits may be requested.

The different forms to be used to request a cash payout can be found here:
FZK Vested benefits accounts

As a general rule, it is only possible to withdraw assets in the form of capital (one-time payment).

Withdrawal of vested benefits on retirement is only possible five years before normal retirement age at the earliest.

The relevant form is available here:
Cash payout due to retirement

Your assets will be paid out in equal parts to the eligible persons. Article 10 of our Rules sets out in more detail which individuals are eligible:

No, your vested benefits only become relevant for tax purposes at the time when they are paid out.

Contact your current pension scheme to request a calculation of feasibility for division of your assets in the event of divorce. If you are not affiliated with any pension scheme and your assets are held by us, we can draw up this feasibility calculation for you.

Feasibility check declaration on a split of assets in the event of divorce

Occupational pension provision

You have the option of continuing either your retirement pension provision or all of your pension provision within three months of leaving the compulsory pension provision system. Please complete the relevant forms (Individual/Registration) and send us your last pension statement and a copy of your termination statement.
Voluntary affiliation of individuals

If the gross annual salary subject to AHV of your employees exceeds the entry threshold, we will provide them with coverage after receiving all the documentation. The relevant forms and an explanation are available at the following link.


If your total salary exceeds the entry threshold, you can obtain coverage under the Employees pension plan. You can find more information on this in the Employees section.

Voluntary affiliation of individuals

In this case, we recommend that you notify us of an estimated average wage. We will invoice you the contributions on this basis. Once you notify us of the correct wage paid at the end of the year, there will either be an additional charge for the difference or a credit in your favour.

Yes, but in certain cases additional costs will be charged according to our cost regulations or affiliation will be mandatory. Further information on this topic may be found at:
Compulsory membership

The salary is the annual salary which would be earned if you were employed for a full year.

After departure, you will receive a termination statement and a form to arrange the transferral of your assets.

Gross salary subject to AHV / number of days X 360 = basic annual salary

Gross annual salary subject to AHV - coordination deduction = insured salary

The amount of the coordination deduction is set, and only changes with an IV pension

Benefits service

The relevant application form may be found at the following link:

No, because the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution does not currently insure any life partner pensions in the pension plans. However, a life partner is entitled to a death benefit if:

  • she or he has been living with the deceased person in a domestic partnership in a shared domicile for the last five consecutive years before their death,
  • or she or he is responsible for supporting one or more joint children.

Pension payments are made monthly in advance.

Clarification usually takes six months, because we receive a lot of applications and the clarification process takes some time.

Yes, if you are married and you wish to withdraw the retirement capital, we require signatures from yourself and your spouse to authorise a cash payout. Both signatures must be certified by a notary.

Under risk insurance for the unemployed, disability pension payments cease upon reaching the reference age (normal retirement age) as no retirement benefits are covered under this insurance.

At the beginning of each year for the previous year, i.e. at the beginning of 2023 for the year 2022.

According to our guidelines, this is not possible. We can only pay out your benefits to one account.

No, we require proof of life every two years, in which the local authority confirms your current civil status.

Debt collection

You can submit a written request to do this. A maximum of 11 instalments will be granted. The Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution evaluates the conditions under which a repayment plan may be granted. Such a repayment plan will be charged at a cost of CHF 50.00 as well as CHF 10.00 per instalment.

Please pay the outstanding debt to the respective debt collection office before deadline stated by subpoena for the opening of bankruptcy proceedings. It is necessary to submit the receipt of payment before the court in order to avoid bankruptcy.

The legal proposal must be substantiated in writing or withdrawn within 30 days. According to Art. 60 para. 2bis LOB, the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution is entitled to cancel the legal proposal itself by issuing a contribution decision subject to a charge.

In addition to collection of the corresponding debt, all other outstanding amounts (e.g. quarterly invoice) must also be paid in full. If this is the case, you can contact the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution in writing and request that debt collection proceedings be cancelled.

Contact the respective debt collection office, ask for the current balance and settle the amount via the office.