Forgetfulness has its price. At least, it does for an increasing number of Swiss job-changers and house-movers who forget to transfer their pensions. Almost CHF3 billion ($2.98 billion) in ‘forgotten’ pension money is languishing in around 632,000 Swiss accounts.
In addition to a job change, moving without notifying the pension fund of a new address is a main reason that people lose track of their money, says Max Meili, director of the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution.
“After leaving their pension fund, the people forget about their money and never get back in touch,” Meili told the Swiss national news agency SDA.
Today, more and more Swiss leave the country to work and live abroad. Money in a previous employer’s pension fund must be cashed out and transferred to a new employer’s fund, or deposited in a vested benefits account.
It is the responsibility of the employee to transfer the money. If the employee forgets, the money is moved within two years to an agency like the SOBI, which “acts on behalf of the federal government as a second pillar safety net”, according to its website.
Although some forgotten accounts have less than a franc in them, the average amount is CHF4,700. People who have worked in Switzerland and think they have forgotten pension money can submit a form to the 2nd Pillar Central Office. Around 35,000 requests were submitted in 2015.
swissinfo.ch and agencies