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

Canadian benefits

The Canadian pension programs included in the Convention are the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Old Age Security (OAS) program.

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.

Swiss benefits

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:

Attach any necessary supporting documents, and return the application form to a Service Canada Centre, or mail it to:

International Operations
Service Canada
PO Box 250
Fredericton NB  E3B 4Z6
Canada

If you live in Switzerland

If you live in Switzerland and want to apply for Canadian benefits:

Attach any necessary supporting documents, and return the application form to a social security office in Switzerland, or mail it to:

International Operations
Service Canada
PO Box 250
Fredericton NB  E3B 4Z6
Canada

Switzerland's social security website

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