Everyone who works in Switzerland is expected to pay into Swiss social security. The system is based on a collection of insurances designed to grant temporary help to those in need. All of these support schemes are paid for jointly by employers and employees through your salary, as well as directly through taxes in Switzerland.
Each scheme is mandatory for all employees in Switzerland and the funding is taken either directly from your salary or through a set contribution in your tax return. The system is controlled by the Department of Old-age and Survivors’ Insurance or OASI through the AHV system (Alters- und Hinterlassenenversicherung).
How are social security payments calculated?
Your total contributions to the system and the potential benefits you are entitled to receive are calculated using your AHV social security number. Every organisation will use this number in order to determine benefits and will be used as a record of each service you have used.
Swiss disability insurance
If you are or have been made disabled, you are entitled to Swiss disability insurance. This type of insurance is designed to support those who require additional help or funding to sustain themselves due to their disability. The services range from career advice and training to financial compensation and a helplessness allowance. The system is present to make sure that a disability does not affect your quality of life or that of your family.
Unemployment benefits in Switzerland
If you have recently lost your job, Switzerland offers financial assistance to help you find a new job or make a transition to a new career. The system is designed to keep your income stable while you look for a new career. Your potential income from unemployment benefits in Switzerland is based on how long you were working and how much you have contributed to social security.
Swiss family allowance
One of the benefits that is open to all couples with children or dependents is the child and family allowance in Switzerland. This is a set payment from the government that supports families raising children by helping to cover the additional costs of raising a child such as childcare or public transport in Switzerland. It is open to all parents and will continue to be paid out until the child reaches 25 years of age (provided they are still in education).
Maternity compensation and Swiss paternity leave
Having a baby is a significant event and is celebrated as such. Once your baby is born, you are entitled to receive maternity compensation. This allows you to take paid time off to care for your child in the early stages of their development. As of recently, men are also entitled to receive paid paternity leave in Switzerland.
Accident and occupational diseases insurance in Switzerland
If you have been involved in an accident that wasn't your fault, you are entitled to Switzerland’s accident and occupational disease insurance. This is a system in which workers are compensated if they are involved in an accident before, during, or after work; or have been exposed to something that has caused an illness. Benefits can range from financial compensation to the payment of costs from Swiss healthcare.
If you are not eligible for any other forms of insurance, you can apply for welfare. Swiss welfare is designed as a last resort for those who have exhausted all other forms of social security and do not have the means to support themselves or their family. The system supplies individuals and families with a subsistence income, alongside career advice, training, work projects and other forms of service. Welfare is designed to get you back into work, or into higher-paying work, so that you can support yourself and your family.