How well is my family protected?

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When you start a family, your life changes abruptly – and so does your financial situation: Suddenly, there’s a lot more at stake. But how can a family be protected? Here you’ll find everything you need to know about insurance and retirement provision for your loved ones.

It's nearly time. You can’t wait for the baby to arrive. Everything is ready: You chose a name months ago, your bookshelf is full of books on parenting, and the baby’s room was ready for its little occupant as soon as the pregnancy began to show. You already discussed how you're going to split tasks with your partner some time ago.

Adapt protection early on

In the joy of anticipation, people often forget their insurance coverage. Because – with a child – it’s not only your lifestyle but also your needs that change fundamentally. It goes without saying: Protecting a family or household that includes children is completely different from protecting a family or household that doesn’t. It’s best to adjust your insurance before the birth – when you still have time to think about such things. Because once your little treasure has arrived, you will have your hands full. 

If a parent suddenly becomes unable to earn

Parents want all family members to be well at all times. Thinking about things like protecting your finances, pension gaps, or even what you would do in worst-case scenarios – nobody likes that. Nevertheless, it is necessary. After all, if one parent has an accident or becomes seriously ill, the family often faces financial hardship in the medium and long term. Unforeseen loss of earnings or high additional costs, such as household care and childcare, can quickly lead to savings just melting away. Sometimes such circumstances can even lead to debt. 

It is particularly drastic if your rent or mortgage is no longer affordable and the children lose the home  that they're used to. Consequently, you should ensure that your partner and children are adequately protected financially. This risk protection should be just as much a part of your pension provision as building up assets for retirement.

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Differences between accident and illness

In financial terms, the decisive factor is what makes a person unable to earn or what has caused their death. This is because – in terms of mandatory benefits – in Switzerland, we are better insured against accidents than against illnesses. But the family’s income after such an event depends on other factors too: 

  • Number of children: If one parent dies or becomes occupationally disabled, the families concerned also receive orphan’s pensions or disabled person’s child’s pensions. The total amount paid to a family is capped at a certain limit.
  • Pension fund benefits: The pension fund pays out in the event of death or disability due to illness. There are significant differences here. Some occupational benefits institutions pay generous extra-mandatory benefits, others only pay the statutory minimum.
  • Salary ceiling for accident insurance:  Under accident insurance, the maximum pensionable salary is CHF 148,200. This means that high incomes can create an income gap that jeopardizes the continuation of the accustomed standard of living.

Depending on the situation at hand, most families would then have to make do with 50 to 90 percent of their original salary. If the total pension exceeds 90 percent of the pensionable salary, the accident insurer will reduce its benefits accordingly and pay only a complementary pension on top of AHV (OASI)/IV (DI).

Substitute income and income gap

Substitute income and income gap

Risks: Cohabitation, part-time working, self-employment

In Switzerland, financial risks in the event of one parent no longer being able to earn are generally covered by mandatory benefits from Pillars 1 (AHV/OASI) and 2 (BVG/OPA). The aim is for the family to be able to maintain their accustomed standard of living. However, adequate protection is only guaranteed if the parents are married and both are employed on the basis of a relatively high percentage. If this is not the case, gaps inevitably arise in occupational benefits insurance. The easiest way to close them is with a Pillar 3a plan for families.


Unmarried couples are at a disadvantage in the event of a stroke of misfortune: If one person dies, the surviving dependent is not entitled to a widow’s or widower’s pension from the AHV/OASI. As regards occupational benefits, it depends on the pension fund as to whether or not the cohabiting partner is entitled to monetary compensation. In voluntary private pension provision, on the other hand, the beneficiaries are free to choose.

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Part-time work

Most mothers, but also an increasing number of fathers, now work part-time – regardless of their marital status. In doing so, they accept a high level of risk: If their health is impaired due to an accident or illness, they receive significantly lower pensions than full-time employees. It is therefore recommended that you take out additional insurance.


Many entrepreneurs themselves have only minimal protection because Pillar 2 is not obligatory for them. If you’re self-employed, you do not have to insure your loss of earnings following an accident either. Which means that, after a stroke of misfortune, the family is left with only a modest AHV/OASI or IV/DI pension – unless provision has been made privately.

Unable to work or occupationally disabled?

Incapacity for work or occupational disability refers to the previous employment relationship or profession. A change of job or retraining can help. However, if occupational disability/disability applies, the individual affected can no longer fully take care of their needs themselves – regardless of their activity. This means that they are wholly or partly dependent on a disability pension.

Financial relief for family members

Whether your health is permanently impaired or you die early are two very different situations. Either way, your family would face enormous challenges. In such a case, the corresponding insurance solutions  at least cushion the financial problems somewhat.

Occupational disability

You can take out occupational disability insurance for the event that you become disabled. This guarantees your family a fixed additional income – on top of the pension benefits from Pillars 1 and 2. This occupational disability pension protects the self-employed in particular against serious loss of earnings. The insurance solution  can be flexibly adapted to your needs and combined with your retirement provision.


The survivors receive a pension from the AHV/OASI. The widow’s/widower’s pension amounts to a maximum of 80 percent and the orphan’s pension to 40 percent of the retirement pension of the deceased person. The orphan’s pension is paid until the end of the course of education or training, but at most up to the age of 25. For an AHV/OASI pension between CHF 1,225 and CHF 2,450 (as of 2024), these are not huge amounts. Term life insurance therefore makes sense for your family. What many people do not know: This insurance is available even for families on a tight budget – and it is particularly important in this case. Term life insurance is also flexible and can be combined with other pension solutions. If anything happens to you, the death lump sum is paid out immediately, regardless of any inheritance proceedings. This protects your family from financial bottlenecks in difficult times.

Protection – as individual as your family

Every family is different: What is needed is customized insurance coverage. We analyze your individual situation in terms of income, expenses, assets, and taxes. We also take into account the financial risks – and of course your personal need for security.

Our advisors point out any gaps in coverage and recommend a solution tailored to you and your family. Make an appointment so that your loved ones are optimally protected in the future.

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