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Residential property

Financing is the first and last hurdle to overcome when acquiring residential property. If the available funds are insufficient, an advance withdrawal or pledge of Pillar 2 assets may well be an alternative worth considering. This can open up a range of options, provided affordability is not endangered.

What is allowed? What is not allowed?

The law promotes the acquisition of owner-occupied residential property using money from your occupational benefits insurance. However, this right comes with certain obligations and restrictions.

Permitted means and purposes of use

In the context of the statutory promotion of homeownership, the following means may be used for financing the purchase of residential property:

  • Mandatory occupational benefits insurance
  • Extra-mandatory occupational benefits insurance
  • Vested benefits accounts
  • Vested benefits policies

Permitted purposes of use:

  • Purchasing or constructing owner-occupied property
  • Investing in an own home
  • Repaying a mortgage
  • Purchasing shares in a housing cooperative or similar investment

Non-permitted purposes of use:

  • Financing the usual maintenance costs of residential property
  • Payment of mortgage interest
  • Financing of vacation apartments
  • Real estate abroad, if not the same as domicile

Own capital through advance withdrawal

Good planning is needed if you wish to realize your dream of home ownership. Including financially. What’s important is to realistically estimate the costs, and to understand the implications and the correct procedure. The first of two possibilities for raising capital is advance withdrawal from your pension fund.

Advance withdrawal of pension fund assets

An advance withdrawal is possible every 5 years – until 3 years before regular retirement. But you need to be careful: Have you purchased any contribution years from your pension fund within the last three years? If so, you cannot withdraw the amount from your pension plan for three years from the date when you purchased contribution years.

Requirements

  • You have already accrued retirement assets of more than CHF 20,000 in the pension fund.
  • You are not disabled.
  • Retirement is at least three years away.
  • Your last advance withdrawal took place more than five years ago.

Minimum amount

CHF 20,000

Maximum amount

Until age 50, the maximum amount is equal to your total vested benefits. Afterwards, you receive as a maximum the larger of the following amounts:

  • The vested benefits at age 50
  • Half of the vested benefits at the time of the pledge

Implications

  • A reduction in future retirement pensions
  • Reduced benefits on disability or death
  • Taxes: The pension fund will automatically inform the Swiss Federal Tax Administration of the advance withdrawal within 30 days. The capital that you have withdrawn in advance must be declared as a lump-sum payment from your retirement assets.
  • Sales restrictions in the land register: If you buy your own home with the help of an advance withdrawal, a sales restriction is entered in the land register. If you sell your home at a later stage, the advance withdrawal has to be repaid to the occupational benefits institution.

Repayment

As soon as the conditions for an advance withdrawal are no longer met, the amount must be repaid to the occupational benefits institution.

Procedure

With a request and all required documents (e.g. a valid purchase contract, building permit or extract from the land register, etc.) you confirm to the pension fund that you meet the conditions for an advance withdrawal. If you are married, you also require the written agreement of your spouse.

Recommendation

Protect yourself against reductions in benefits in case of disability or death with occupational disability insurance and / or whole life insurance.

The new myAXA pensions portal

Anyone who works for a company whose pension fund is managed by AXA can benefit from many advantages. Because the insured employees have access to the myAXA pensions portal. Thanks to this online portal, you - as an employee - can take the planning of your pension provision and the calculation of possible future scenarios into your own hands. Otherwise you have to ask your employer or your HR department for the relevant information.

The benefits of the myAXA pensions portal

  • Clarity: Employees can view all the information on their pension fund online in myAXA at any time – with simple and clear explanations.
  • Better planning for the future: In myAXA it is possible to calculate the impact on pension benefits of an advance withdrawal for the purchase of residential property or of a voluntary payment for tax optimization purposes.
  • Potential purchases: Thanks to myAXA it is possible to identify and close pension gaps.

From the end of 2017 or at the latest at the start of 2018, the insured in an AXA pension fund will benefit from the advantages of the new pensions portal on myAXA. You will receive a letter from AXA with the access data that allows you to register with myAXA with just a few clicks.

Support and frequently asked questions

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