Dismissal from 55 and early retirement in Switzerland

If someone over the age of 55 loses their job, the question usually arises as to what consequences this will have for retirement. In most industries in Switzerland, it is difficult to find a new job from this age.

Anyone who loses their job from the age of 55 is generally entitled to unemployment benefits for 520 days. At the same time, the end of the employment relationship means that the pension fund’s accumulated retirement capital is transferred to a vested benefits account and pension benefits can no longer be drawn.

Many pension fund regulations allow early retirement only from 58 or 60. This means that a pension can only be drawn from this point in time. This pension is significantly lower than it is with the regular reference from 64 for women, or 65 for men. It should be borne in mind that an early withdrawal of the AHV pension is only possible a maximum of two years before the normal retirement age. This causes an income gap. In addition, also with the AHV only a reduced pension is aligned and for the whole pension duration, i.e., also from 64/65.

In order to prevent a gap in the AHV contributions, insured persons can continue to pay contributions into the AHV. The amount to be paid is calculated on the basis of the insured person’s income. If there is no such income, only a minimum amount must be paid. However, it should be noted that the amount increases depending on the assets.

In case of early retirement, it is usually no longer possible to receive unemployment benefits. However, there is one important exception. In fact, unemployed persons who have been prematurely retired for economic reasons or due to mandatory provisions in the context of occupational pensions may continue to receive unemployment benefits. In addition, it is necessary that the retirement benefits are lower than the unemployment benefits.

In conclusion, it should be noted that dismissals of employment relationships with employees who are already older than 58 may be abusive. An additional criterion is that an employee has been working in the company for a long time, i.e. at least five years. Such dismissals are abusive if they were only made on the basis of the employee’s age. Whether the age is the reason for the termination can usually only be deduced from the circumstances. This is supported by the fact that the employer unexpectedly dismisses the employee without considering alternatives with him prior to dismissal.