Office for Foreign Social Securities (ofss)

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Application For Pension Your Pension Account Account Clearing Amending Of Time-Periods And Contributions

Procedures Of The Swiss Pension Insurance Carriers

In general all pension insurances use a fully digitalized system, which makes all data instantly available. However, the laws and regulations of the Swiss insurance carriers are different, complex and are subject to constant changes. This results in rather time-consuming procedures every time a request or claim works its way through their systems. So it will take on the average about three months until an application for a pension has been approved even when all necessary documentation has been provided and accepted. Additional requests like the approval of new documentation and/or the adding on of time-periods require a lengthy processing time, which can take up to 24 months. Unfortunately we have no influence on the duration it takes to process a claim or request.

The best time-saving procedure is for us to (with your help) provide the insurance carrier with as much and as precise information as we can. That way we avoid time-consuming check backs by the Swiss Social Security administrations and financial losses for you.

When you make your retirement plans please take into consideration the duration it may take for your claim(s) to work its way through the system. Start your application process now so that by the time you have reached your retirement age all documentation is at hand and all questions have been answered. That way the time it will take to process your application will be short and you will be able to receive your pension payouts immediately

Application for Pension

Only after an application has been submitted to the Social Security Administration will a pension be approved. The application consists of several pages, which the applicant has to fill out. In order to process the application the Swiss Social Security Administration requires a time-period of approximately four to six months, provided all documentation is available, there are no question-marks, no back-checks and there are no requests for you to provide additional proofs.

Taking this into consideration we suggest that you at the latest at the age of 60 or at least 5 years before your planned retirement have us check the status of your Swiss insurance account to make sure all information has been recorded and that those records are correct so that you will receive the maximum possible pay-outs. For example, had any of your previous Swiss employers submitted incorrect or incomplete contributions you would find out about this only after the Social Security Administration had approved your pension. It would then require a rather extensive, expensive and time-consuming effort on your part to have the necessary corrections made to your pension account, during which time you will receive no pension or at the very best only a token amount.

Therefore we urge you, regardless of your present age, to already now gather and secure all job-related details of any professional activities you had in Switzerland and clear these information with the Swiss Social Security Administration. You should do so even if you have plans to again work in Switzerland at any time in the future. Out of experience we can tell you that it is very difficult to correct mistakes after 10 or 20 years that were made by a Swiss employer or a Swiss public office. To correct such mistakes after such a long period of time you would need extensive proofs; and the more time has passed the more difficult it will be to obtain those proofs.

Make good use of the time until you plan to retire. Please appoint us now so we can assist you with clearing all the details.

Your Pension Account

All pension insurance carriers record the times, your annual contributions, the amounts of your salaries and all other for your pension relevant information and data in your so-called Individual Account (Individuellen Konto - IK). This account reflects your professional career as far as it is important for the calculation of your pension. Any missing data or false recordings or mistakes will have a negative impact on the amount of your eventual pension pay outs.

Please let us establish for you what information has been credited to your pension account and make sure that all the data are correct.

We will point out to you how you can check the correctness and completeness of these recordings and assist you if needed in the necessary corrections and/or supplementations of your data.

Your pension account is as important as your bank account! Make sure you are in control of it!

Correcting Your Pension Account

You can at any time, even after many years, request corrections to your pension account. If there are missing or incorrect data on your account you are by-and-large not held responsible for these mistakes. However, you are responsible for proving that the information is indeed incorrect. Acceptable proofs would be job-related documentation, certificates, salary statements and even the testimony of a witness.

We can offer you our specialized service in assisting you with the correction(s) of incorrect or missing data on your pension account. We conduct our research at the source and will, if necessary, interrogate witnesses, check with public offices and even find individuals who could shed light on your problems.

Because this may expand into an extensive effort we will advise you on whether it will be worth our time and your expense if the outcome will result in only a marginal increase in your pension pay-outs.

Amending (post-recording) of Time-periods and Contributions

Should our research show that there are missing time-periods and/or contributions on your pension account or that for example one or more of your salaried jobs have not been recorded, that will, of course, have a negative impact on the amount of your eventual pension pay-outs.

We will assist you in the research and in adding the missing time-periods and contributions to your pension account. In case of any missing documentation we will go to the source and assist you in your investigations. We will consult witnesses and check with official departments and offices and even try to find certain person(s) if he/she could shed some light on your problem.

Should it become apparent that our research will be rather extensive and time-consuming we will be able to offer you an estimation of whether the efforts and moneys required for finding the requested documentation will be worth the increase in your pension-pay-outs.

Please keep in mind that we are the experts!

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Office for Foreign Social Securities (ofss)
P.O.Box 1113, Cedar Crest, NM 87008
e- mail:

Tel.: 1-505-328-7777