The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Clear Yes to the popular initiative for a 13th AHV pension

Switzerland has a 13th AHV pension. For the first time, the people and cantons have approved an expansion of the AHV with a popular initiative. The initiative also passed the majority of the cantons - 16 cantons said yes.

Approval was therefore stronger than expected: around 1,883,500 voters supported the 13th AHV pension and 1,350,300 rejected it. The "yes" share was 58.2 percent. The voter turnout was 57.6 percent.

The popular initiative "For a better life in old age (initiative for a 13th AHV pension)" was backed by trade unions and left-wing parties. It calls for thirteen AHV pensions to be paid from 2026 instead of twelve. The polls indicated that the people would vote yes. The majority of the cantons was not considered certain.

However, a total of 15 cantons were in favor of the proposal. Eight voted against, with the highest percentages in favor coming from French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino. Jura came out on top with 82.5 percent of votes in favor. Of the German-speaking cantons, Basel-Stadt had the highest percentage of Yes votes with 64.5 percent.

The No votes came from the cantons of Central and Eastern Switzerland. Appenzell Innerrhoden had the highest proportion of "no" votes with 68.6%.

8.3 percent more from the AHV

Specifically, all pensioners will be entitled to a supplement amounting to one twelfth of their annual pension, which will be 8.3% higher than today. Anyone already drawing an AHV pension should receive the supplement from the start of 2026 at the latest. "As quickly as possible", writes the trade union federation.

The Federal Council and Parliament will now have to think about how the "thirteenth" in the AHV is to be financed. This is because the text of the initiative does not specify anything in this regard. Opinions differ as to what will be necessary.

©Keystone/SDA

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