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Notes on Individual Rules under the Japan-Switzerland Social Security Agreement

Home > English > International Social Security Agreement > Notes on Individual Rules under the Japan-Switzerland Social Security Agreement

Last updated date:Friday, 3 15 2013

1. Crews of ships

In case that you work as an officer or member of a crew on board a sea-going vessel flying the flag of the country, if you would otherwise be compulsorily covered by the social security systems of both countries, you will be subject only to the social security systems of the country of the flag. If you are employed in the other country, you will be subject to the system of the country in which your employer is located.
The procedure to apply for your Certificate of Coverage under this rule is the same as that for general employees.

2. We ask you for early application for the Certificate

In order to establish exemption from the Swiss social insurance system you need to have your Certificate of Coverage. We recommend you to file your application for the Certificate of Coverage as early as possible.
Please note that if you belatedly apply for a Certificate of Coverage for retroactive exemption from Swiss system, extra procedure may be required by the Swiss social insurance authority to review your application.

3. Exemption from the Swiss sickness insurance system

To be exempt from coverage of the Swiss sickness insurance system, your Swiss employer needs to submit the copy of your Certificate of Coverage to the cantonal sickness insurance authority which covers your workplace.
Likewise, your employer needs to submit the copy of your Certificate of Coverage to the Swiss authority in order to establish your exemption from Swiss pension system.

4. Refund of Swiss insurance contributions

Under the Swiss old-age and survivors' insurance system, Swiss pension benefits are paid to foreign nationals residing outside Switzerland only if the country of their nationality has concluded social security agreement with Switzerland. Other foreigners or their surviving family members may claim reimbursement of their accumulated Swiss contributions when they permanently leave Switzerland, if the foreigners had paid the old-age or survivors' insurance contribution for at least one year.
Please note that the Japan-Switzerland Social Security Agreement enables you, a Japanese national, to receive Swiss old-age or survivors' benefits even after you permanently leave Switzerland, when you satisfy eligibility requirements for the Swiss benefits (pension or lump sum payments). The contribution refund is no longer available.

5. Extension of the period of exemption

If you need to continue to work as a detached worker (or a self-employed person) in the other country for more than 5 years because of unforeseen circumstances, you may be granted extension of the period of exemption for up to 1 year, upon request. If the extension is not granted, you will be covered only by the system of the country in which you work during the period exceeding the initial 5 years.

6. Your spouse and children accompanying to Switzerland

All residents in Switzerland shall be covered by the Swiss social insurance system in principal, even if you do not work in Switzerland.
Please note, however, that if you temporarily work as an employee or a self-employed person in Switzerland and are covered only by the Japanese system, your accompanying spouse and your children are exempt from Swiss social insurance system as long as they do not work in Switzerland.

7. Coverage periods totalization for Swiss disability benefits

You need only one year of Swiss coverage period to qualify for Swiss old-age or survivors' benefits. the qualifying period is so short that there is no totalization treatment under the Japan-Switzerland agreement. On the other hand, the Swiss disability benefits require you to have at least three year coverage periods. To qualify for it, you can totalize your Japanese periods, as long as you have the Swiss coverage period for at least one year.

8. Swiss pension payments as lump-sum

If you reside outside Switzerland and if your Swiss benefits amount is 10% or less of the ordinary full pension, your Swiss benefits are paid as a lump-sum in lieu of pension.

If the amount is more than 10% but not more than 20 % of the ordinary full pension, you can choose either a lump-sum or pension. In this case, the Swiss competent institution will contact you to ask your choice after they receive your application.

Please note that once you have received your lump-sum payments, your periods of coverage which were used for the bases of the payments will no longer be valid to apply again for pension benefits.

9. Benefits payable to outside Switzerland

Without a social security agreement with Switzerland the Swiss benefits are not payable to foreigners residing outside Switzerland. With the Japan-Switzerland Social Security Agreement in effect, the Swiss benefits are paid to the Japanese nationals and permanent residents of Japan residing outside Switzerland.

10. Retroactive payment of Swiss benefits Payment of Swiss benefits

You can file the application for your Swiss benefits about 6 months before you satisfy eligibility requirement for the benefits at the earliest.
Please note that the Swiss benefits will be retroactively payable only for up to 5 years.

11. Payment of Swiss benefits

The Swiss pension benefit amounts are determined in Swiss Francs. While you reside in Japan your benefits are paid monthly by direct deposit to your bank account in Japan which you designate. (Payment schedule is not changeable.)