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Purchasing power  Unions call for higher old age pension payments 

Older woman at table with paperwork and calculator

The state old age pension scheme is a key factor for social security according to trade unions.

(Keystone/Christof Schuerpf)

The Trade Union Federation has called for higher old age pensions and salary increases as well as a reduction in health insurance premiums to offset the decrease in purchasing power for Swiss consumers. 

Presenting a list of ten measures on Thursday, federation president Pierre-Yves Maillard stressed that older people are likely to be most affected by the worsening situation. 

“The purchasing power in our country is decreasing despite years of economic boom. This is unique, unjustified and worrying if we consider what would happen in times of crisis,” Maillard said. 

He said it is crucial to grant old age pensioners an additional monthly payment per year and to bolster the pension scheme with surplus from the Swiss National Bank. 

“We want to gain back the confidence in the old age pension system with this realistic strategy,” Maillard said. 

The trade unions are preparing the launch of a people’s initiative calling for the payment of a so-called 13th pension payment a year for beneficiaries. 

Reiterating previous demands, Maillard came out in favour of a proposal by the left-wing Social Democratic Party, to cap mandatory health insurance premiums to 10% of the annual income of a person. 

He also called for “substantial salary increases” and an additional monthly salary in all sectors covered by collective work contracts as well as low-paid employees

Switzerland’s largest umbrella union groupexternal link claims 380,000 members in 20 different unions and associated organisations.

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