Pillar 3a: Start early and consistently make deposits
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Paying into Pillar 3a is worthwhile. Even bit by bit.

Maintain the standard of living you're accustomed to even after retirement with Pillar 3a. It's possible, if you take account of all the contributory factors. Deciding factors not only include the interest or return level, but above all, how long and how regularly deposits are made.

Interest rate levels have a crucial impact on asset growth

The interest rates have been at a record low for quite some time. In this environment, capital accumulation takes place significantly slower in Pillar 3a. For example, if you calculate with an interest rate of 0.1 percent over a time horizon of 35 years, during which the maximum amount of CHF 6,883 permitted today is always paid, then the resulting, cumulative interest income is CHF 4,386 and the final net worth is CHF 245,291. An extended low-interest phase significantly reduces wealth accumulation.

With the interest level rising again and an average interest rate of 1 percent, interest income would increase to almost CHF 48,710. At 4 percent, a final net worth more than twice as much comes together as with an interest rate/return of just 0.1 percent.

Interest rate/yield is crucial for wealth accumulation

Interest rate/yield is crucial for wealth accumulation

Asset performance in the case of regular payments (at the beginning of each year) of the current maximum amount of CHF 6,883 given differing assumptions regarding the average interest rate/yield

Source: Credit Suisse

Securities solutions generate higher yield opportunities

It is possible to raise the yield opportunities by using securities solutions. These historically have tended to bring better returns than interest accounts. But they do involve greater risks and fees. On the other hand, temporary fluctuations in value can often be dealt with in view of the long investment time horizon. For account holders who are more willing to take a risk and have a long investment time horizon, products with a high equity component are worth considering as they make it possible to achieve potentially higher returns. Here, it makes sense to consult with an expert.

Not paying in for several years results in savings gaps

Not all households pay annually into their private retirement provision. In contrast to the second pillar, missed deposits into Pillar 3a cannot be compensated later. The following scenario shows wealth accumulation with regular deposits of the current maximum amount of CHF 6,883 compared to a person who makes no deposits for a period of seven years. Apart from the missed deposits totaling CHF 48,181, there is also less interest income.

Based on a mixed 3a model with an interest account and securities solution, an average interest rate/yield of 3 percent or 2 percent is assumed. In Scenario A with 3 percent average interest, the accumulated interest income given constant deposits (A1) is almost CHF 53,000 higher than in the event of a seven-year deposit break (A2). In Scenario B with 2 percent annual yield, the interest loss was still around CHF 31,000.

Not paying in regularly reduces compound interest effect

Not paying in regularly reduces compound interest effect

Asset performance in the case of regular payments (at the beginning each year) of the current maximum amount of CHF 6,883 compared to a seven-year deposit break; average interest rate/yield of 2% and 3% p.a.

Source: Credit Suisse

Investing in your pension provision early on pays off

The older they get, the Swiss tend to pay into Pillar 3a more frequently. However, for wealth accumulation, it would make more sense to start with retirement savings at as young an age as possible because anyone who saves over a relatively long period of time will achieve a higher final net worth with the same interest rate. In the following scenario, an annual deposit of approx. CHF 4,916 over a period of 35 years results in a higher final net worth than if the maximum amount of CHF 6,883 is deposited annually over a period of 25 years.

Although the total deposits are identical, the "early bird" achieves assets that are CHF 25,000 higher in the end than if the savings had started ten years later. It is therefore advisable to start saving for retirement at an early age – even if it is not possible to pay in the maximum amount.

It pays to start early with Pillar 3a

It pays to start early – even with relatively small amounts

Asset performance in the case of regular payments (at the beginning of each year) of CHF 4,916 compared to payments of the current maximum amount but with a ten-year delay; average interest rate/yield of 2% p.a.

Source: Credit Suisse

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