Also BVG-specific services
Encouragement of home ownership
BVG legislation offers you the opportunity to use money from your occupational pension fund to buy your own home respectively to finance buying your own home by pledging an early withdrawal. This scheme is known as encouragement of home ownership (WEF) and the procedure is known as WEF advance withdrawal.
A WEF advance withdrawal can be made to buy or build your own home; for conversion or extension of residential property if it represents an investment; to repay a mortgage or to purchase shares in a housing cooperative. The law forbids use of a WEF advance withdrawal to finance a second or holiday home respectively to finance interest on a mortgage or maintenance costs.
Making a WEF advance withdrawal will not only result in a reduction in retirement benefits but often also in a reduction in risk benefits. Loss of risk benefits can be offset by taking out voluntary additional insurance with an insurance company.
Before submitting a written WEF application it is a good idea to contact the IntegralStiftung to find out if you are entitled make an advance withdrawal. This preliminary check will clarify the following questions: Is there enough money? Is advance withdrawal legally permissible? What tax implications would there be?
BVG restrictions on WEF advance withdrawals
BVG legislation imposes certain restrictions on WEF advance withdrawals:
The minimum sum for an advance withdrawal is CHF 20 000;
Advance withdrawals can only be applied for at most once every five years;
If you are over 50 years of age, the maximum advance withdrawal you can make is either the total sum of the vested pension benefits you have accrued by the age of 50 or half of the vested pension benefits accrued at the time of the withdrawal;
Advance withdrawals can only be made up to three years before you retire;
In the case of spouses, registered civil partners or life partners who have their own pension fund, the restrictions apply to each partner individually since each of them has a claim to their assets independent of the other partner.
Changes in your personal life
The easiest way to notify the IntegralStiftung if you get married or register a civil partnership is to complete and submit the “Changes” form. You can obtain this form from your employer or download it from the IntegralStiftung website. Simply complete the form and send it to our office.
To notify the IntegralStiftung that you are living in a life partnership (common-law marriage) you will require the “Notification of life partner” form, which you, as the insured person, should complete and send to our office.
Following a divorce or separation
Before you start divorce proceedings it is worthwhile clarifying either yourself or via your lawyer what impact a divorce would have on your retirement assets. On request the IntegralStiftung will provide a so-called feasibility declaration to the judge presiding over the divorce court.
Following presentation of a final divorce decree to the IntegralStiftung, as a rule both spouses’ accrued retirement capital will be divided into two equal shares. Calculation of the sum equivalent to half of the retirement capital is based on the difference between assets at the time of the divorce and those at the time of the marriage.
The divorced spouses can pay in voluntary participation contributions at any time to make up any shortfall caused by their divorce – known as the divorce withdrawal.