What about the AHV if I leave Switzerland permanently ?
The Old Age and Surviving dependents Insurance (“AHV”) is a compulsory social insurance scheme in Switzerland which provides an old age pension and a survivors’ pension to people who have paid contributions during their working life.
When a person leaves Switzerland permanently, he or she can claim back the contributions paid to the AHV. This applies to people who leave Switzerland to return to their country of origin or who leave to work abroad without the intention of returning to Switzerland.
The refund of AHV contributions is possible in the following cases:
- The person leaves Switzerland permanently and moves to a country that is not a member of the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and has not signed a social security agreement with Switzerland;
- The person works abroad for a Swiss company, but does not reside in an EU or EFTA country and has not signed a social security agreement with Switzerland.
In such cases, the person may request reimbursement of the contributions he or she paid to the AHV during the period of employment in Switzerland. It should be noted that the refund is limited to personal contributions and that employer’s contributions are not refunded.
It is important to note that if the person does not leave Switzerland permanently, but goes abroad temporarily, he or she remains subject to the AHV and continues to pay contributions. In case of doubt about a person’s particular situation, it is recommended to contact the competent social security authorities in Switzerland to obtain precise information