The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

National Council says yes to digitalization of loss of earnings registrations

From 2026, members of the armed forces, civil defense and civilian service will be able to submit their applications for income replacement benefits digitally. The National Council approved the necessary amendments to the law on Thursday.

By replacing the current paper forms, the Federal Council wants to reduce the administrative burden on service providers and their employers, as well as the agencies implementing the Income Compensation Ordinance.

The change of system will also lead to less work for the compensation funds, the state government wrote when presenting the revision of the law. Data quality is also to be improved and the time it takes for daily allowances to be paid out is to be shortened.

The Income Compensation Ordinance (EO) compensates for loss of earnings during service in the army, civil defense or civilian service, as well as during "Youth and Sport" training courses and youth shooting instructor courses. Participants in these courses are also covered by the change in the law.

In the National Council, the matter caused little discussion and was approved against the votes of the SVP parliamentary group. A minority of the preliminary committee led by Diana Gutjahr (SVP/TG) doubted the efficiency gains through digitization and the savings effect, but failed with a motion not to enter the debate. The matter will now go to the Council of States.

Federal Councillor Elisabeth Baume-Schneider told the Council that the introduction of the system for recording digitally submitted applications would cost four to five million francs on a one-off basis. In addition, there would be operating costs of 0.2 million francs per year. In contrast, employers would save CHF 4.5 million per year and compensation funds CHF 2.1 million per year.

According to parliamentary documents, around 590,000 registration forms are processed in Switzerland every year - around 330,000 of these concern the armed forces. 691 million francs were paid out to a total of around 200,000 people in 2022 according to the EO.

©Keystone/SDA

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