Swiss Retirement Fund Comparison 2024

The leading unbiased Swiss retirement fund comparison helps you quickly and easily find the pillar 2 and pillar 3a funds which match your risk tolerance and retirement goals. Compare Swiss retirement funds now

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Three simple steps: How to use the retirement fund comparison.

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In the first step, you enter your initial capital and possible additional annual investments. You also choose your risk profile and investment strategy.


In the second step, you compare retirement funds (pillar 2 or pillar 3a) which match your criteria. The unbiased comparison lets you compare funds based on costs or on historical performance.


Apply for the retirement funds of your choice directly online.

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About the Retirement Fund Comparison

Retirement Fund Questions and Answers

Just use the retirement fund comparison on moneyland.ch. The comparison includes pillar 3a funds which match your risk profile. You can compare funds based either on costs or on past performance.

The simplest option is to just choose the risk profile which suits you and then pick the most affordable pillar 3a fund for that profile. Past performance should not be a primary criterion for choosing funds because historical performance is no clear indicator of future performance.

Find the best pillar 3a fund now

Many retirement funds which can be used for pillar 3a assets can also be used for pillar 2 vested benefits from your occupational pension funds. To find funds which can be used for vested benefits, just select the vested benefits filter to limit results to funds which can be used for vested benefits.

To find the best vested benefits account, simply choose your risk profile and then use the most affordable fund which matches that profile.

Find the best vested benefits fund now

The moneyland.ch retirement fund comparison is the most comprehensive Swiss comparison of its kind. The comparison does not only account for fund total expense ratios (TERs), but also for sales charges and custodial fees. The comparison also lets you see and compare past performance.

The retirement fund comparison lets you sort all funds based on their total costs over a selected investment term (from 1 to 15 years). You can also filter funds based on your preferred risk investment strategy. Comparisons are based on the assumption that current fund costs will continue to apply over the chosen investment term and that the value of investments will remain the same.

In the cost breakdowns of each fund in comparison results, you can see possible sales charge and deferred sales charge (front-end and back-end loads), the custodial fee for the safekeeping of your fund shares, and the total expense ratio (TER). If a synthetic TER is used for the comparison, this is clearly shown.

You can find more information about the bases for calculations used in comparisons here.

The retirement fund comparison not only lets you compare funds based on current costs, it also lets you compare funds based on historical net performance. Just select the historical net performance sort option. You can select the historical time frame for the comparison on the results page.

When you select the historical net performance option, only funds for which historical data is available are included in the comparison. Many funds are relatively young, so the father back your specified historical time span goes, the less funds appear in the comparison.

moneyland.ch calculates net performance by deducting possible custodial fees and sales charges from published performance figures (which already account for TERs).

Performance breakdowns include more details include final capital, average annual net performance per year in percent, net performance in Swiss francs over the full investment term, and exact details about the costs.

You can find more information about the bases used for calculations here.

The pillar 3a is a tax-privileged private providence category which can be used to save for retirement. Once you transfer money to a pillar 3a retirement saving or investment solution, you can only withdraw it when you reach retirement age (there are exceptions to this rule). The money is held in escrow by a retirement foundation. There is an limit on how much money you can pay into combined pillar 3a providence solutions each year. You can deduct money paid into the pillar 3a from your taxable income.

Other than that, pillar 3a accounts are much like normal savings accounts, and pillar 3a retirement funds are much like normal investment funds.

A pillar 3a retirement account yields interest just like a savings account. Interest rates vary between banks and accounts. As with savings accounts, the interest rates of pillar 3a accounts can change at any time without notice.

When you deposit money into a pillar 3a retirement account, you earn interest on your account balance.

When you invest money in a pillar 3a retirement fund, the fund invests your assets in a portfolio of securities and other investment vehicles. Depending on how investments perform, you may lose money or earn returns. The higher the stock component of a fund portfolio, the higher the potential return is and the higher the risk of short-term losses is.

Pillar 3a retirement accounts are a much more conservative investment because there is very little risk of you losing money. The tradeoff for the security is that you earn very low returns. Retirement funds expose your capital to a lot more risk – at least over the short term – but in exchange you can potentially earn much higher returns than you earn with pillar 3a accounts.

If you only plan to withdraw your pillar 3a assets in 10 to 15 years, investing in a retirement fund with a high stock component can make financial sense.

The average cost of Swiss retirement funds is equal to more than 1% of the value of invested assets. But costs vary broadly between funds. Some funds cost more than 1.5% per year. When total costs including sales charges and custodial fees are accounted for, there are retirement funds which cost more than 3%.

Funds with high costs are best avoided, and particularly funds which have high sales charges (front-end and back-end loads).

You can find more information in this guide to the costs of retirement funds.

You can use these risk profiles for comparisons:

  1. Minimal: Stock components between 0% and 5%.
  2. Low: Stock component between 5% and 20%.
  3. Balanced: Stock component between 20% and 50%.
  4. High: Stock component between 50% and 75%.
  5. Very high: Stock component between 75% and 100%.

The higher the stock components of funds are, the higher the risk levels designated to them are. Important: Stock risk primarily applies to short-term investments because stock prices can fall over the short- to mid-term. Historically, the stock market has always recovered and grown over the long term, so the longer the investment term is, the lower the risk associated with stock components is.

In many cases, the risk of investing in retirement funds is directly linked to the stock components of funds. The higher the stock component, the higher the potential returns are – but the greater the chance of capital loss is.

But it is important to differentiate between short-term and long-term risk. The longer the investment term, the lower the risk of stock components losing value is. The reason for this is that although there have been major losses in stock values in the past, so far stock markets have always recovered and delivered capital gains. The longer the time frame over which you plan to hold your retirement fund investment, the lower the chance of your incurring a capital loss is.

A second risk is presented by investment costs. The costs of investing in a fund directly detract from the fund’s performance. If costs exceed returns, you can incur a capital loss. That is why it is important to choose the most affordable retirement funds which match your strategy and risk tolerance.

Many people look at past performance when choosing retirement funds. But past performance is a weak basis for choosing retirement funds.

One reason for this is that many funds have only been in operation for relatively short lengths of time, so performance data is limited.

Secondly, performance is directly linked to stock components and stock market performance. In periods when the stock market performed well, retirement funds with large stock components performed better than funds with smaller stock components. In periods when the stock market performed badly, retirement funds with small stock components performed better than other funds. Funds with large stock components have generally performed better over the long term, even though they have a much higher risk of loss over the short term.

Performance data should not play a role when you choose a retirement fund. Rather, you should use the most affordable fund available for your profile. The reason for this is: Fund performance is highly-dependent on stock market performance, and there is no way to accurately predict short- to mid-term stock market performance. Costs, on the other hand, are easy to calculate and apply regardless of market performance. When funds perform well, costs detract from capital gains. When funds perform badly, costs add to capital losses.

Investing in retirement funds does not make financial sense if there is a good chance that you will need the money in the near future (within several years at least). This is especially true for retirement funds with large stock components, because it can take the stock market many years to recover from major recessions. If you will be retiring or otherwise withdrawing your money relatively soon, then retirement funds are not an ideal solution and using them can result in your losing money.

It is also important to note that once you pay money into the pillar 3a, you can only access it if you meet very specific criteria. Standard pillar 3a withdrawals for retirement can only be done five years ahead of retirement age, at the earliest. You should not place money into the pillar 3a if you cannot afford to forego those assets until you meet withdrawal requirements.

Swiss retirement funds are considered to be relatively secure. If the retirement foundation (pillar 3a) or vested benefits foundation (pillar 2) which manages your retirement assets goes bankrupt, you retain ownership over your fund shares, so your assets are not affected. The biggest risk of investing in retirement funds is the risk of making capital losses if funds perform badly.

Pillar 2 and pillar 3a assets are tax-privileged. These retirement assets do not qualify as taxable wealth as long as they remain in the pillar 2 or the pillar 3a. Capital gains, interest and dividends are not taxable as long as they remain within the pillar 2 or pillar 3a.

Additionally, contributions to the pillar 2 (occupational pension funds) and deposits into pillar 3a solutions can be deducted from your taxable income (an annual limit applies to combined payments and deposits into the pillar 3a).

When you withdraw vested benefits or pillar 3a assets, you pay a capital withdrawal tax on the withdrawn assets. This tax is generally much lower than regular income tax.

An annual limit applies to total combined contributions to the pillar 3a. Currently the limit is 7056 francs per year for residents who participate in pillar 2 occupational pension funds. Residents who earn an OASI-eligible income but do not participate occupational pension funds can contribute up to 20% of their income the pillar 3a, up to a maximum of 35,280 francs per year.

You can find more information on pillar 3a limits here.

Note that the limit applies to total combined contributions to the pillar 3a – including premiums for private disability insurance or term life insurance policies which fall under the pillar 3a providence category.

Once assets have been paid into the pillar 3a, you are free to transfer them to any pillar 3a solution of your choice as long as they remain in the pillar 3a. For example, you can transfer existing pillar 3a assets from a pillar 3a account to a pillar 3a retirement fund and vice versa.

By law, you can only begin withdrawing pillar 3a assets five years ahead of reaching standard OASI retirement age at the earliest. You must withdraw all assets from the pillar 3a by the time you reach OASI retirement age. If you continue working after reaching retirement age, you can keep assets in the pillar 3a as long as you continue working, but no longer than age 70.

Some retirement funds require that you sell your shares when you reach retirement age. That is disadvantageous because if your retirement coincides with a market recession, being forced to sell your shares at that unfavorable point in time can result in a loss.

Other fund managers let you transfer your fund shares out of the pillar 3a into a regular custody account when you reach retirement age. There are also fund managers which make you sell your retirement fund shares but let you immediately reinvest the resulting capital in similar investment funds.

This information is included on the detailed information pages corresponding to each fund in the moneyland.ch retirement fund comparison.

In passive investment, fund managers do not actively select individual securities to include in the portfolio. Instead, portfolios are simply modeled after indexes, with fund managers buying securities tracked by indexes in the same proportions with which they are represented by the indexes. Once the fund is set up, there is little active involvement on fund managers’ part.

In active investment, fund managers actively select the securities included in fund portfolios. The aim of active investment is typically to outperform market indexes by making smart investments. However, very few actively-managed funds have consistently outperformed indexes over the long term. One reason for this is that the cost of actively managing a fund is relatively high, and detracts from performance.

You can filter retirement funds in comparison results based on whether they use active or passive management strategies. This information is also included on product info pages.

International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs) are serial numbers which make it easy to clearly identify securities. Retirement funds are also designated ISINs, and these are shown on the information pages of retirement funds in the comparison.

Most retirement funds are accreting funds. That means dividends are added to your investment capital rather than paid out. But there are also distributing retirement funds which pay out dividends every year rather than reinvesting them automatically. The detailed information pages of funds in the comparison clearly show whether a fund is distributing or accreting.

Stocks and bonds are the asset classes which Swiss retirement funds most commonly invest in. Some funds also invest in real estate and other asset classes.

The average stock, bond, real estate and other asset classes components are shown as percentages on the information pages of funds in the retirement fund comparison.

Swiss retirement funds vary broadly in terms of size. While some newer funds have just a few million francs of capital, other Swiss retirement funds are billions of francs strong. You can see how big funds are (in millions of francs) on the product information pages of funds in the comparison.

Pillar 3a asset management services are an alternative to pillar 3a retirement funds for investing pillar 3a assets. These are primarily offered through digital channels and primarily invest in low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Even though you pay asset management fees in addition to fund costs, these pillar 3a asset management services work out cheaper than conventional retirement funds in many cases. You can find more about digital pillar 3a services here.

There are asset management services for vested benefits. Many of these are offered through digital channels. They provide an alternative to retirement funds for investing vested benefits. You can find more about digital pillar 2 services here.

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