The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Financing of the 13th AHV pension remains controversial

Civic circles reject the proposal to finance the 13th AHV pension exclusively through salary contributions. However, this option is favored by the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions (SGB) and the SP. The Employers' Association and Economiesuisse would like to see it financed solely through an increase in VAT

The SGB would like to finance the 13th AHV pension only through an increase in salary contributions. SGB President Pierre-Yves Maillard (SP/VD) described the Federal Council's proposal as "moderate". According to the SGB, financing via salary percentages is "decidedly social". In addition, it would only require an amendment to the law, which would enable rapid implementation.

Financing via salary percentages is the solution for financing the 13th AHV pension with the least impact on purchasing power. According to the SGB, it should hardly be felt by the population. This is because social security contributions have fallen noticeably recently and are likely to fall even further. The additional financing for the 13th AHV would therefore "only lead to a reversal of these reductions".

The SP also believes that "social financing via wage contributions" is needed. The SP had already transparently demonstrated during the referendum campaign that additional social financing could be achieved by means of additional salary percentages. The party remains committed to this.

Employer for third variant

On Wednesday, the Swiss Employers' Association expressed its disappointment that the Federal Council did not propose a third option, namely financing via VAT percentages. The association is against wage contributions and in favor of processing via VAT.

The business umbrella organization Economiesuisse also expressed this view. From the point of view of intergenerational fairness, the fairest way to cover additional AHV funding requirements is through VAT. The burden of the additional costs would thus be borne as widely as possible.

The employers' association also demanded that everyone, including pensioners, should contribute to the additional costs. Passing the costs on to the working population once again would be a lack of solidarity. An increase in salary percentages would make work even more expensive and put the Swiss economy at a competitive disadvantage.

According to the employers' association, financing can only be regulated within a reasonable period of time if an existing tax is increased. Financing via VAT requires a mandatory referendum, which provides it with the necessary legitimacy.

Pensioners should also pay

Financing the 13th AHV pension exclusively through salary contributions is out of the question, explained GLP National Councillor Jürg Grossen on Platform X. He said that pensioners were also helping to finance it via VAT, which was nothing but fair. It should also be possible to reduce the burden on the federal budget - with almost CHF 50 billion in subsidies per year.

The FDP announced in a press release that it rejects tax increases on the backs of the middle classes and SMEs. The introduction of a 13th AHV pension should not lead to an additional burden on households.

In addition, the FDP believes it is too early to determine the "funding level". If the premium initiative is accepted in June, additional costs of up to CHF 11.7 billion per year (from 2030) would have to be covered.

Zurich FDP National Councillor Andri Silberschmidt campaigned on Platform X for a petition entitled "No to the increase in AHV wage contributions at the expense of the middle classes".

©Keystone/SDA

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