Home ownership scheme

Using Occupational Retirement Assets To Buy A Home

Under the Swiss scheme to promote home ownership using occupational pension assets (WEF), insureds can withdraw pension assets early, or pledge them, to buy a home that they themselves will live in. Advance withdrawals and pledges can be made for the following purposes in Switzerland and abroad:

  • to buy or build owner-occupied residential property 
  • to extend or remodel owner-occupied residential property
  • to pay off mortgage loans
  • to acquire shares in a housing association, or similar participations.

Early withdrawals and pledges are possible only if they are for your own needs. "Own needs" in this sense refers to where the insured person lives in the residential property at either their permanent or current place of residence.

Holiday and second homes cannot be financed using occupational pension savings.

Pledging Assets

Both the entitlement to pension benefits (retirement, disability and survivors' pensions), and the claim to an amount up to the level of vested benefits, may be pledged.

There is no statutory upper limit on the pledge of pension benefits, although in practice the pledge is subject to the same restrictions as advance withdrawals of vested benefits. Pension cover is not reduced by the pledge, unless the pledged assets have to be realised, i.e. paid to the creditor.