Switzerland’s government is working hard to find ways to fix a looming state pension shortfall.
Two politicians in the canton of Fribourg have decided to seek savings by attempting to cut lifetime government pensions granted after short stints in the job, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.
In some Swiss cantons, government leaders can work for several years and leave with pensions for life, a perk that Nicolas Kolly (UDC/SVP) and Romain Collaud (PLR/FDP) think is out of tune with the times.
The rules vary by canton. Jura has done away with lifetime pensions for its leaders while the political road out of politics is still paved with gold in Vaud, Geneva and Fribourg.
A member of the executive in Fribourg who has spent 10 years in government can walk out of the job at 50 with a pension for life of up to 60% of their pay.
The pair bringing the motion estimate their change would shave CHF 4.2 million of this year’s cantonal budget.
In Vaud ministers get 35% of their salary for life after 5 years if they are not reelected and after 10 years if they quit.
In Geneva, ministers who hang on for 12 years and leave at 60 get 64% of their salary for life. Essentially, 12 years of work could deliver nearly 25 years of pay, assuming 20 years of retirement.
In some cantons ministerial salaries are just the tip of the iceberg.