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Retirement benefits

The Thai Social Security Fund (SSF) pays out very low benefits and is therefore not relevant to foreign nationals planning to retire in Thailand. As the Social Security Fund provides only minimum subsistence benefits, you are advised to also join a supplementary occupational pension insurance scheme and take out health and accident insurance.

Health and accident insurance

The Thai Social Security Fund provides a minimum level of social security for Thai workers – well below that required by foreign nationals. You are therefore advised to take out private health insurance. Premiums (for comparable coverage) are generally considerably higher than in Switzerland, as neither hospitals nor insurance companies are subsidised by the state social security system. Premiums are higher the older you are. Thai insurance policies often do not provide a lifetime insurance guarantee. You should never cancel your supplementary insurance in Switzerland before you have received an unconditional confirmation of admission from the new health insurance company abroad.

Boat between karst formations
Khao Sok National Park. (© Unsplash)

Unemployment insurance

The Thai Social Security Fund offers Thai workers a minimum level of social security. Foreign nationals are in principle not entitled to receive unemployment benefits. If you are a foreigner working in Thailand and lose your job for any reason, your work visa (non-immigrant visa B) and work permit will be cancelled. You have seven days to leave the country or apply for a visa extension.

 

Swiss old-age and survivors' insurance (OASI) and invalidity insurance (IV)

Payment of ordinary pensions

Ordinary OASI and IV pension payments (except quarter pensions under the IV scheme) for Swiss nationals can be transferred to their place of residence anywhere in the world. The pension is paid out directly by the Swiss compensation office, generally in the currency of the country of residence. You may also choose to have your benefits paid into a personal postal or bank account in Switzerland. Helplessness allowances and supplementary benefits are only paid if you are resident in Switzerland.

Voluntary OASI/IV

Swiss nationals who do not live in an EU/EFTA member state may join the voluntary OASI/IV scheme if they had compulsory insurance cover for at least five consecutive years immediately prior to their departure. Enrolment in the Swiss voluntary OASI/IV system does not exempt you from enrolling in a compulsory insurance system in your country of residence or employment. Employed persons contribute 10.1% of their salary to the pension fund. The minimum annual contribution is CHF 950. The voluntary OASI/IV system offers protection against the risks of old age, disability and death, in particular to persons who are not gainfully employed and who in many cases are not entitled to join a foreign social security scheme.

Special provisions for people employed by a Swiss company

Special provisions apply to persons who live abroad and are employed and on the payroll of an employer based in Switzerland and to their accompanying spouses abroad provided they are not gainfully employed. For further information, please contact your OASI office.

OASI pensioners (1st pillar) and pension fund beneficiaries (2nd pillar)

Make sure that pension payments from your old-age and survivors' insurance (OASI), your pension fund or other insurance policies you have taken out are being properly transferred to you. Whenever you change your address, you must inform the OASI compensation office, your pension fund and insurance provider. The Swiss Compensation Office (SCO) sends all persons who are receiving benefits a certificate of life and marital status form each year. To ensure uninterrupted payment of your pension, please return the form to the SCO within 90 days, duly endorsed by your local authority, or any other officially recognised administration.

Taxation of pension fund income

Switzerland imposes a withholding tax on pension fund income if the beneficiary resides abroad. Double taxation agreements sometimes allow the withholding tax to be waived or to be reclaimed by the pension recipient in their country of residence.

Social assistance for Swiss citizens abroad

In certain circumstances, the FDFA's Social Assistance Service for the Swiss Abroad (SAS) provides social assistance to Swiss nationals living abroad who have run into financial difficulty. If you find yourself in financial distress, you must first make every effort to manage with your own resources. If you really cannot manage on your own, you should try to get financial help from your family or from friends or acquaintances. You should also find out what social assistance or other support you can receive from the authorities in your country of residence. Support from the SAS should be a measure of last resort.

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