Switzerland - Pensions and benefits
If you have lived or worked in Switzerland and in Canada, or you are the survivor of someone who has lived or worked in Switzerland and in Canada, you may be eligible for pensions or benefits from Switzerland or Canada, or both.
The Convention on Social Security between Canada and Switzerland came into force on October 1, 1995.
What benefits are available
If you contributed to both the Canada Pension Plan and the Swiss pension program, or if you lived in Canada and Switzerland, this convention may help you qualify for:
- Canadian old age and disability benefits
- Swiss old age and disability benefits
If you are the widow, widower or child of a person who contributed to the pension programs of both countries, this convention may help you qualify for:
- Canadian survivor benefits
- Swiss survivor benefits
You may qualify for a Canadian or a Swiss benefit, or both. However, under the Convention, the benefit paid by each country will be based solely on your creditable periods under that country's pension program. In other words, Canada will pay a benefit amount reflecting the portion of your periods that are creditable under Canada's pension program, and Switzerland will pay a benefit amount reflecting the portion of your creditable periods under Switzerland's pension program.
Am I eligible to receive a benefit
If you do not qualify for a Canada Pension Plan benefit based on your contributions to the CPP, Canada will consider your periods of insurance under the Swiss pension program as periods of contribution to the Canada Pension Plan.
If you do not qualify for an Old Age Security pension based on your years of residence in Canada, Canada will consider periods of insurance under the Swiss pension program or periods during which you resided in Switzerland after the age of 18 as periods of residence in Canada.
Note: Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) contributors
The Government of Canada's international social security agreements cover Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits only. If you contribute or have contributed to the QPP but not to the CPP, please consult the Quebec Pension Plan.
The Swiss pension program is similar to the Canada Pension Plan and covers most employed and self-employed persons in Switzerland.
To qualify for a benefit under the Swiss pension program, you normally must be a resident of Switzerland or a Swiss citizen residing abroad and have contributed to the program for a minimum period of time.
If you are a Canadian citizen, regardless of your place of residence, under the Convention you can receive a Swiss benefit as long as you have contributed to the Swiss program for the minimum period required.
How do I apply
Print and complete one of the following application forms:
If you live in Canada
If you live in Canada and want to apply for Canadian benefits, see Pensions in Canada.
If you live in Canada and want to apply for Swiss benefits:
- Switzerland/Canada Agreement - Application for Swiss old age pension (CH/CAN-3.3)
- Switzerland/Canada Agreement - Application for Swiss survivor's pension (CH/CAN-(S))
- Switzerland/Canada Agreement - Application for Swiss disability pension (CH/CAN-3.1)
Attach any necessary supporting documents, and return the application form to a Service Canada Centre, or mail it to:
PO Box 250
Fredericton NB E3B 4Z6
If you live in Switzerland
If you live in Switzerland and want to apply for Canadian benefits:
- Switzerland/Canada Agreement - Application for Canadian Old Age, Retirement and Survivor Benefits (ISP5054-CHE)
- Switzerland/Canada Agreement - Application for CPP Child's Benefits (ISP5055-CHE)
- Switzerland/Canada Agreement - Application for CPP Disability Benefits (ISP5053-CHE)
Attach any necessary supporting documents, and return the application form to a social security office in Switzerland, or mail it to:
PO Box 250
Fredericton NB E3B 4Z6
Switzerland's social security website
- Convention on social security between Canada and Switzerland
- A general overview of Switzerland's social security system is available on the United States Social Security Administration website
- The Living abroad website provides information and access to programs and services for Canadians living abroad
- For more information on contributing to the Canada Pension Plan while working abroad, see How to apply for a certificate of coverage and International social security agreements and the Canada Pension Plan
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