Mar 08, 2024

After an intense campaign, the proposal put forward by the unions to introduce a thirteenth pension in Switzerland for all elderly men and women receiving a social security pension (AVS) was accepted in the vote on Sunday 3 March. This is a historic step towards strengthening the first pillar, at a time when pension fund benefits (second pillar) are falling further and further.
The strong mobilisation of the union base and other broad sectors of the population was decisive for this historic victory. Unia President Vania Alleva emphasised that “the great commitment paid off,” referring to the many activists, members and associates who made a decisive contribution to the campaign. The unions were able to highlight the difficult living conditions of many elderly people, as well as many pensioners who can often only rely on the first pillar (AVS) pension.
The result of the vote clearly shows that the government, the parliamentary majority and the employers, who are opposed to this reform, have ignored the issue of pensions for too long. The thirteenth monthly AHV pension – which will come into effect from 2026 – will compensate for the loss of purchasing power suffered by pensioners. “This is a major social step forward for Switzerland, which strengthens confidence in the future of old-age provision. And it helps us in the fight for better wages and against the theft of second-pillar pensions”, added Vania Alleva.
Also on Sunday, voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea of raising the retirement age to 66. The clear “no” to raising the retirement age is a relief for workers, notes the Union syndicale suisse, Switzerland’s largest trade union federation. This result puts the economy’s constant demand to work longer out of the question.