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Retired should get bigger pension, say unions

The Swiss Trade Union Federation has set its goals for the next ten years, calling for larger pension payouts for low to average wage earners.

At the end of its two-day meeting in Bern on Saturday, delegates voted in favour of the state pension “plus” plan as well as to better protect the jobs of active union members.

Currently, residents of Switzerland can expect to receive up to 60 per cent of their salary from the state pension scheme upon retirement.

Delegates at the union meeting voted in favour of launching a campaign to improve the lot of low to average earners.

They agreed that people earning less than SFr5,000 ($5,203) a month should in future receive 80 per cent of their previous salary while those with incomes of SFr6,000 (currently, the Swiss average salary) would be able to cash in 70 per cent. Retirees who had taken home more than SFr7,000 would continue to get 60 per cent.

The Trade Union Federation will present a detailed plan on the revised scheme proposal by 2012.

The “plus” plan flies in the face of government efforts to reduce payouts made through the pension scheme, since it will soon be in the red due to Switzerland’s ageing population.

The state plan is one of three pillars of Switzerland’s pension scheme. It is supplemented with an occupational pension and a voluntary tax-deductible savings fund.

Delegates also approved a proposal to call for the introduction of harsher penalties against employers who fire staff unfairly due to their union activities. and agencies

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