Sep 23, 2021

Hands off our pensions: No less than 15,000 people gathered in Bern on Saturday to protest the attacks on pensions and reaffirmed that instead of lowering pensions, it is high time to improve them. A large alliance formed of unions (including Unia), feminist collectives and political parties called for this large demonstration.
At the end of January, more than 300,000 women signed the appeal against their discrimination in pensions. In Switzerland, women receive pensions at least a third lower than those of men. But instead of ensuring that this gap is closed as quickly as possible, policymakers are choosing to do the exact opposite.
Today, the AVS annuity (compulsory insurance which aims to cover the vital needs of an insured person in the event of retirement or death) is no longer sufficient to live. And the benefits of the 2nd pillar (occupational pension) have been in free fall for years. For women, the inequalities are even more glaring at retirement age than during their working life. The majority in Parliament continue to pretend that these problems do not exist. On the contrary: it is rather preparing a dismantling of the retirement provision as well as reductions in pensions.
Attention had to be drawn to this scandal. This is why a broad alliance of unions (including Unia), feminist collectives and political parties called for a large national demonstration. Despite the difficulties linked to the pandemic, 15,000 people gathered in Bern on Saturday to demand that pensions be increased, not reduced: “Hands off our pensions!” “. All the dismantling projects – AVS 21 in the lead – will meet with determined resistance.
They sent a very clear signal: “We will not tolerate lower pensions and say NO to increasing the retirement age! We will fight head-on the AVS 21 reform which is being done on the backs of women! ” (AVS 21 wants to raise the retirement age for women from 64 to 65).
On the Federal Square, several workers from various professional branches and coming from all over Switzerland testified. They explained the concrete difficulties they will face if the retirement age for women is raised and the AVS is lowered. Working an extra year is often just not possible after long years in a grueling job and taking on unpaid care and support work. Even now, the outlook for pensions is bleak due to career breaks, part-time work and wage discrimination. All the more reason, on the contrary, to raise the level of pensions so that everyone can benefit from a good pension. For example with a 13th AVS pension.