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Vote analysis Multiple reasons for failure of pension reform

Polling station in a restaurant in central Switzerland during the September 24 vote

The pension reform plans were rejected by about 53% of voters 


A combination of several factors led to the rejection of a major reform of the old age pension scheme at the ballot box last September, according to an expert report.

The study found that opposition to an additional CHF70 ($70) monthly pension benefit, a planned increase in women’s retirement age, and the broad scope of the reform in general led Swiss voters to throw it out.

“The No vote was the result of multiple oppositions. No single motive could have prompted the rejection,” the authors of the Voto studyexternal link said.

The findings are based on interviews with 1,511 citizens following the September 24 vote. The government-funded study was carried out jointly by the Centre for Democracy Studiesexternal link, the Foundation for Research in Social Sciencesexternal link and the Link market research instituteexternal link.

Age and gender less important

The scientists found that an overwhelming majority of supporters of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party and strong minorities among the other main parties came out against the reform.

There was no significant difference between different age or gender groups, according to the report published on Thursday.

The failed reform of the state old age pension system included an increase in value-added tax (VAT), raising the retirement age of women to 65 in line with men, and a slight monthly pension hike for all beneficiaries.

The government-sponsored proposal was rejected by 52.7% of voters.

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