1st pillar: OASI/DI/APG

Entrepreneurs need to get national insurance for themselves and any employees. Presentation of obligations associated with the first pillar: OId-age and survivors’ insurance, disability insurance and income compensation allowances (OASI/DI/APG).

Old-age and survivors’ insurance (OASI) should cover the basic requirements of payers of contributions. Disability insurance (DI) covers the financial consequences of disability. The loss of earnings insurance (APG) system compensates, in part, loss of income due to military service, civic protection service or civic service. These types of insurance are financed by employer and employee contributions and by the Confederation and the cantons.

The 1st pillar is mandatory for all employees: Swiss nationals, foreign nationals, the entrepreneur’s family members, employees working overseas with a direct contract with the parent company (provided the registered office is in Switzerland). Spouses working in the company and not receiving a salary in cash are not liable to contributions if their partner pay at least double the minimum contribution.

When creating its company, the employer must declare itself to the relevant compensation office. The relevant compensation office is the occupational compensation office if the employer is a member of a founder association. If the employer is not a member of a founder association, the relevant office is the cantonal compensation office for its canton of domicile or the canton in which the company has established its registered office. Entrepreneurs must make inquiries themselves with this compensation office to find out whether they have self-employed status or not. OASI premiums are lower for self-employed individuals than employees. Evaluation of self-employed status is also the basis of other mandatory social insurance (accident insurance, pension funds, etc.).

From the insurance point of view, co-owner employees of limited companies and limited liability companies are not self-employed, whilst individual shareholders of limited partnerships and general partnerships almost always have self-employed status. If the compensation office categorizes the entrepreneur at a later date as an employee, they must pay the missing contributions (employer and employee contributions, plus late payment interest).

Self-employed workers contribute a maximum of 9.65% of their income (7.8% for OASI, 1.4% for DI and 0.45% for APG). For incomes below CHF 56,900 per year, there is a degressive scale of contributions ranging from 9.155% to 5.196%.

For employees, the contribution rate for OASI/DI/APG and unemployment insurance (ALV) is 12.45% of salary (for ALV: solidarity levy of 1% on the part of salary above CHF 148,200). Companies must deduct the whole contribution, but they can deduct half from the employee’s gross salary.

Source: Ratgeber Sozialversicherungen - Ein praktischer Leitfaden für KMU (only in German, 1.1.2019, FSIO)


Last modification 27.02.2020

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