According to Le Matin, Jean-Luc Addor, a parliamentarian and member of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP), wants to know what savings could be made if pensions paid to those abroad were adjusted for living costs in those countries.
According to the newspaper, after the rejection of the vote to reform Swiss pensions, Addor said that the rejected reform was aimed at guaranteeing the financing of the pension system over the coming years, as well as maintaining the level of payments. But that we missed an essential element: the pensioners who have huge difficulty making ends meet live in Switzerland. He thinks parliament should consider the man in the street who sometimes emigrates, not out of choice but out of necessity, to benefit from the difference between Swiss pensions and the standard of living abroad.
Philippe Nantermod (PLR/FDP) is not convinced by these arguments. He thinks many of those who decide to emigrate have low incomes and pay little tax. At the same time these people use infrastructure. Their leaving helps Swiss finances.
Roger Nordmann (PS/SP), was even more forceful in opposing the idea. He said: “This proposal does nothing more than stir up xenophobia in order to cover up the incompetence and irresponsibility of the PLR and the UDC, which don’t have even the outline of a plan B. When they don’t know what to do they pin the problem on the backs of foreigners, even though they have paid into the Swiss system and have a right to their pensions if they return home.”
Around 32% of Swiss pensions are paid to people living abroad. According to government figures, 85% of the 737,000 pensioners living outside Switzerland are foreign nationals.
Ariane Rustichelli from the Organisation of Swiss Abroad said: “We seem to be assuming that pensions would be adjusted down based on the country of residence, however they could be adjusted up. Would it be applied to cantons, which can also have very different living standards (costs)?” In addition, the organisation points out how enormous administration could swallow up any savings.