The sums are staggering: Over 6 billion Swiss francs have found their way into the Swiss Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution from more than 850,000 accounts - an average of 7500 Swiss francs per account.
This is money from second pillar retirement plans which, after people working in Switzerland change their employment status is not claimed by employees. This can happen when you change jobs, leave employment due to pregnancy, are transferred or leave your job in Switzerland.
Retirement assets which are not claimed within a 2-year grace period are turned over to the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution. This privately managed retirement institute manages assets on behalf of the federal government and invests the money using (primarily) passive investment vehicles.
The Institution attempts to contact the forgotten assets’ rightful owners – with surprisingly little success. In the case of 70 percent of accounts, no usable information about the owners is found. This is primarily true for temporary and seasonal workers who no longer live in Switzerland.
That is why it is important that you have your savings transferred to your pension fund at your new employer when you change jobs. If you do not take on a new job after leaving your employer, you must place the money into a vested benefits account of your choice – ideally the account with the highest interest yields. You can easily find the highest-yield account on the moneyland.ch vested benefits account comparison.
If you have forgotten to transfer your second pillar savings from any of your previous employers and more than two years have since gone by, you can contact the LOB Guarantee Fund for help in locating your lost assets.