In Switzerland, the provision for old age, survivors and disability is based on three pillars:
- The first pillar – or old-age, survivors and disability insurance – is a compulsory general insurance for all that serves to cover the basic needs of the insured;
- the second pillar – or professional pension (PP) – is mandatory for workers; aims, together with the first pillar, to guarantee the standard of living upon retirement;
- the third pillar includes the individual forecast of each one.
Old-age and survivors insurance (AVS) grants two types of pensions:
- the old-age pension, which allows insured persons to retire from working life with a certain material security, since the pension is paid during retirement;
- the survivor’s pension, which helps widows, widowers or orphans to overcome financial difficulties following the death of an insured spouse or parent.
Disability insurance (AI) benefits are granted when, for health reasons, the insured person no longer has an intact earning capacity. The objective of the AI is the professional and social rehabilitation of people who have not yet reached retirement age.
The Swiss Compensation Fund (CSC) and the AI Office for insured residents living abroad (OAIE) are two units of the Central Compensation (CdC) in charge of issues related to old-age and survivors insurance (AVS), the Swiss disability insurance (AI) and optional AVS / AI for people who have established their domicile abroad (membership, contributions, pensions, etc.).