On 25 September 2022, Swiss voters voted in favour of raising the rate of VAT to pay for state pensions. On 9 December 2022, the government announced the date the new higher rates will start.
From 1 January 2024, the standard rate of VAT will rise from 7.7% to 8.1% and the reduced rate will move from 2.5% to 2.6%.
The government said it wanted to implement the new rates at the beginning of a fiscal year to avoid the extra administrative burden for businesses that would be associated with changing the rate during the year.
In addition, the beginning of 2024 was chosen (instead of 2023) to give businesses enough time to update systems, in particular employers, who will need to implement the VAT changes and changes related to pensions.
The retirement age for women will rise from 64 to 65, in line with the age for men. The term retirement age will be replaced with reference age, a term more in line with the idea that more people will choose to work beyond a particular birthday.
The retirement age for women will be introduced in four 3 month steps starting from 2025. Those born in 1961 will reach the reference age at 64 and 3 months. Those born in 1962 will reach the reference age at 64 and 6 months. Those born in 1963 will reach the reference age at 64 and 9 months. And those born in 1964 will reach the reference age at 65 years.