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Vested benefits account

Invest your vested benefits in high-quality Swisscanto funds now!

  • Good return opportunities
  • Choice of seven strategies
  • Low all-in fee
  • Fully digital solution
  • Simple registration process


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  • Good return opportunities

    Due to the persistently low interest-rate environment, vested benefits savings accounts are currently yielding hardly any returns. At relevate, you can invest in high-quality Swisscanto funds and thus significantly increase your return opportunities.

    Produkt Vorteile 01
  • Seven strategies

    With their vested benefits account, relevate investors can choose from seven different strategies with different risk profiles. Decide for yourself which asset classes you want to invest in.

    Produkt Vorteile 02 EN
  • Low all-in fee

    We don’t have any hidden costs. If you opt for one of the fund-based investment strategies, you will only pay an all-in fee of 0.45%. Account opening and deposits are completely free of charge. There is also no fee for the relevate cash strategy.

    Produkt Vorteile 03
  • Fully digital solution

    relevate is a fully digital pension solution for vested benefits. Manage your account online and keep track of your vested benefits at all times with the clear, easy-to-use dashboard.

    Produkt Vorteile 04 EN
  • Simple registration process

    Register now for free in just a few minutes. Select your product – define your risk profile and strategy – take out your contract via digital onboarding and get started!

    Produkt Vorteile 05
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Open an account free of charge now!

  • Select product

  • Define strategy

  • Take out contract via digital onboarding

FAQs on vested benefits

General information

What does the German term “Freizügigkeit” mean?

In general terms, the German word “Freizügigkeit” means “freedom of establishment” or “freedom of movement”. For example, there is an agreement on the free movement of persons (“Freizügigkeitsabkommen”) between Switzerland and the European Union, which allows the citizens of these territories to settle, work and study freely throughout the region.

In the context of Swiss retirement provision, the term “Freizügigkeit” refers to the right of individuals to take their pension assets (“vested benefits”) from the second pillar (occupational pension provision) with them when changing jobs or leaving working life in order to invest them with another pension fund or a vested benefits foundation (see below). The Vested Benefits Act (VBA) governs exactly how vested benefits are structured.

What are vested benefits?

In Switzerland, a person’s “vested benefits” are the total of all pension fund assets saved in the occupational pension scheme (second pillar). When the person leaves a pension fund, the vested benefits are transferred either directly to the new pension fund or to a vested benefits foundation (see below). After retirement, these funds are paid out in the form of a monthly pension or as a one-off lump sum.

What is a vested benefits account?

A vested benefits account is a special type of account that only serves to hold the vested benefits of a person who leaves a pension fund but has not yet joined a new pension fund. Vested benefits accounts are offered by banks, insurance companies and vested benefits foundations.

Not all vested benefits accounts are accounts in the traditional sense that offer a specific rate of interest on the money invested which varies over time. There are also vested benefits accounts that are similar to a securities custody account and are therefore sometimes referred to as “vested benefits custody accounts”. The vested benefits are not booked in these accounts as cash at a specific interest rate. Instead, they are used to buy units in equity, bond, precious metal or real estate funds whose value may rise or fall over time.

relevate is both a vested benefits account and a custody account. With us, you can save your vested benefits as a cash deposit at a fixed interest rate (relevate cash strategy) or invest them with various strategies.

What is a vested benefits foundation?

A vested benefits foundation is an institution that holds pension fund assets from people when they change jobs and are temporarily not insured with a new pension fund. This may occur, for example, if someone is looking for work for a while or if there is a gap between the end of one job and the start of the next one.

The most important vested benefits foundation is the non-profit Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution, which operates on behalf of the federal government and with which 1.4 million people have vested benefits accounts.

It is important to note here that, unlike relevate, the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution does not offer the option of investing vested benefits in securities. And when it comes to interest on the vested benefits savings account, the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution usually isn’t the best place to go either as the rates it offers are below the general market level.

Account opening & deposits

Who can open a vested benefits account?

Anyone who has reached the age of 18 and is under the age of 64 (women) or 65 (men) can register with relevate. Opening a vested benefits account requires you to leave your current pension fund without joining a new fund immediately. Reasons for this may include:

  • Switching jobs with a period of unemployment in between
  • Sabbatical or career break
  • Unemployment
  • Start of self-employment
  • Maternity leave
  • Emigrating from Switzerland
  • Divorce
Where can I open a vested benefits account?

At relevate, you can open a vested benefits account, which also serves as a vested benefits custody account, in just a few steps: keep your vested benefits in cash at an interest rate of 0.7% or invest your assets in index funds or the money market using one of six strategies to improve your return prospects.

How can I open a vested benefits account?

As a new client, you can open a vested benefits custody account with relevate in just a few steps:

  1. Register and select product
  2. Define your risk profile and strategy
  3. Make transfer

There is no minimum amount for opening a vested benefits account with relevate.

Is there a minimum term for vested benefits accounts with relevate?

No, there is no minimum term for vested benefits accounts at relevate.

How do I transfer my vested benefits to relevate?

Once the account has been opened, we will send you all the documents you need to transfer your vested benefits.

Are fees charged on a deposit or transfer?

We do not charge any fees on deposits to or transfers from the active pension fund. In some special cases, such as a transfer due to emigration, fees are incurred.

How many vested benefits accounts am I allowed to have?

When you leave your current pension fund, you may have your vested benefits transferred to a maximum of two vested benefits institutions. There is no legal limit to the number of vested benefits accounts. Depending on the canton, the tax authorities may impose a limit on lump-sum withdrawals.

How can I open another vested benefits account at relevate?

If you want to open a vested benefits account as an existing client, you can do this quickly and easily via the “Add product” option.

If you already have the same product, you will be able to apply your existing risk profile and investment strategy to the new portfolio.

Can I only invest part of my vested benefits?

Yes, only a portion of your vested benefits capital can be invested in your chosen investment strategy. In this case, the rest remains in the account as a cash deposit (relevate cash strategy).

Can I decide for myself when my vested benefits are to be invested after I have deposited them in my account?

Yes, the funds can initially remain in the relevate account as a cash deposit (relevate cash strategy). They can then be invested at a time to be determined by the account holder themselves. Trading itself always takes place on a weekly basis on the second bank working day.

When is the vested benefits capital invested?

In principle, the account holder can decide for themselves when to invest their cash deposits in the vested benefits account (relevate cash strategy) with one of the other relevate strategies. Trading itself is carried out once a week on the second bank working day.

Can I make a payment into the vested benefits custody account?

No, that is not permitted. You may only make payments into a pension fund. Payments into your vested benefits custody account may only be made from pension funds or vested benefits institutions.

What is “splitting”?

If you leave your pension fund, you have the option of splitting your vested benefits capital and transferring it to two different vested benefits institutions. relevate has two foundations and offers splitting from a single source for vested benefits of CHF 300,000 or more. The pension fund is responsible for executing the split and will receive the transfer instructions for this from us.

What benefits does splitting give me?

Splitting gives you two vested benefits accounts. This means you can choose a different investment strategy for each portfolio and secondly you can stagger the withdrawal of your vested benefits assets. As a result, you gain flexibility and benefit from a lower tax progression when the assets are paid out.

Account closure & payouts

When can I transfer my vested benefits to a pension fund?

As soon as your career break comes to an end and you join a new pension fund via an employer, your vested benefits account must be closed and the assets transferred to the new fund.

How can I transfer my vested benefits to a pension fund?

To transfer the vested benefits to a new pension fund, click on “Edit” in the portfolio and then on “Close custody account”. Select “Transfer to a new pension fund” as the reason. You will now receive the termination document from us, which you must complete, sign and return to us by post.

When can the money be withdrawn from the vested benefits account?

You may withdraw your pension assets in the following circumstances:

  • If you leave Switzerland permanently (possibly with restrictions regarding mandatory funds when moving to the EU/EFTA)
  • For the promotion of home ownership (PHO)
  • Upon reaching regular OASI retirement age (also possible up to five years before this date)
  • To transfer them to a pension fund
  • When taking up self-employment
  • In the event of disability or death
Can I also opt to withdraw only part of my vested benefits?

It is possible to withdraw part of your assets early if you are purchasing residential property. Apart from this, partial withdrawals are normally not permitted. The only exception is if you emigrate to an EU/EFTA country and you are not permitted to withdraw the mandatory portion of the vested benefits yet. In this case you may withdraw the super-mandatory portion of the vested benefits.

Can I transfer my vested benefits securities to my private assets when they are paid out?

The vested benefits securities in the relevate investment strategies are specially designed for pensions and therefore cannot be transferred to your private assets.

What is an early withdrawal of vested benefits for home ownership purposes (WEF)?

This is an early withdrawal made in the context of the promotion of home ownership (WEF). You can withdraw vested benefits in full or in part in order to finance residential property that you will occupy yourself. It is also possible to pledge the vested benefits for this purpose.

How often can I make an early withdrawal of vested benefits for home ownership purposes?

An early withdrawal to buy residential property is permitted every five years.

Do I have to withdraw my vested benefits if I move abroad?

No. You may leave the vested benefits account untouched until you reach the age of 70 (69 for women). During this time the vested benefits assets are not subject to income, wealth or withholding tax in Switzerland.

What happens to the vested benefits account if I die?

In the event of the policyholder’s death, the vested benefits accrue to the statutory beneficiaries. The Vested Benefits Ordinance (VBO) determines who this is. By defining an individual order of beneficiaries, the account holder can also influence the sequence of beneficiaries themselves within the scope of the legal possibilities available.

What happens with the vested benefits assets in the event of divorce?

In the event of divorce, the court will decide how the vested benefits assets are to be divided up. We will pay out the assets or part of the assets based on the instructions in the final divorce ruling.

How is the vested benefits account taxed?

Pension assets in a vested benefits account are not subject to income or wealth tax. If vested benefits are paid out, they are taxed in the same way as pension fund assets.

How can I close my vested benefits account?

At relevate, the account closing procedure is as follows:

  1. Select the “Edit” button in the portfolio overview.
  2. Now select the option “Close portfolio”.
  3. Enter the reason for the closure.
  4. Download the document template.
  5. Fill it in and sign it.
  6. Send us the template by post.
  7. We will then process your request and pay you your vested benefits.