When workers in Switzerland change employers they typically take their salary-based pensions with them. However, if they leave the country without making any pension transfer arrangements, after six months, their pension money ends up with the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution, a kind of backstop holding place for forgotten pensions.
At the the end of 2022, the organisation held around CHF 5.6 billion of unclaimed money, reported RTS. The names, social security numbers and birth dates of beneficiaries are known. However, current addresses and contact details are missing for 62% of owners.
Many of the beneficiaries lose track of their pensions after changing jobs or leaving the country. Most of the time they are eventually reunited with the money, but there are no guarantees.
It is unclear why, but the value of unclaimed work-related pensions has risen substantially. Seven years ago the total was CHF 3.2 billion. Now it is CHF 5.6 billion, a CHF 2.4 billion increase. The rise may be related to greater job mobility.
In three quarters of cases the sums in the unclaimed accounts are below CHF 5,000, said a representative of the organisation.
Anyone who thinks they may have left a work-related 2nd pillar pension behind in Switzerland can contact the organisation via their website.