Absences and social benefits

by | Dec 2, 2022 | Article

Did you know ? A long term work incapacity may cause a gap in your AVS (Swiss retirement and survivors insurance) contributions. Umanize analyses this subject for you.

When the employer subscribes to a loss of earnings insurance, they are relieved from their obligation to pay the salary, as long as the insurance benefits cover at least the conditions laid down in the Swiss Code of Obligations (art. 324a CO). These benefits are not a salary, and therefore, no contribution can be deducted from it for social insurances.

A change of status with heavy consequences

As a rule, an exemption from social contributions occurs after three month of full work incapacity. The reason for this is the change in status, from active person to person without gainful employment. In the latter case, different scenarios are possible:

  1. If the person unfit for work is married and the spouse pays contributions that cover at least twice the minimum contribution (1’006 CHF per year), their contribution is considered acquitted (art. 3, al. 3, let. a LAVS).
  2. If the person is single and residing in Switzerland, they will have to pay their contributions as person without gainful employment (art. 10 ss LAVS).
  3. Cross-border workers without gainful employment are no longer covered (art.1a LAVS).

A useful inquiry

In order to prevent a gap in AVS, we recommend you seek information from your compensation office or/and that you report your long term absence.

Regarding LPP, the same rule applies and the contributions stop after three month of full work incapacity. Pension funds usually make special provisions for these situations. This is why we recommend you seek information from the pension fund your employer subscribed for.

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