Due to the tax privileges involved, the withdrawal options of pillar-3a savings are limited by law. There are two scenarios: regular withdrawal and early withdrawal.
- Regular withdrawal:
The accumulated retirement savings may be withdrawn no earlier than five years before the regular retirement age ('AHV age': 64 years for women, 65 years for men). The pension capital is payable upon the beneficiary's reaching the retirement age. Since 2008, however, individuals who continue to work have been allowed to postpone the withdrawal of their savings. They must withdraw the pension capital when they retire, but no later than 5 years later (i.e. at the age of 69 or 70, respectively). To avoid an excessive rise in tax progression following the withdrawal of your pillar 3a, it is advisable to split your savings to more than one 3a accounts and withdraw the capital in several steps.
- Advance withdrawal:
Advance (or early) withdrawal means the withdrawal of pension savings prior to retirement. It is possible to withdraw savings early in the following cases:
1. To finance owner-occupied residential property
2. To purchase additional 2nd-pillar pension benefits
3. In case of self-employed activity
4. When leaving Switzerland
5. If drawing an invalidity pension
6. Upon the beneficiary's death
For tax reasons it is recommended to split one's pension savings to several 3rd-pillar products and withdraw them later step by step.