Pension

Are you a well insured mompreneur?

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There are advantages to being a working mother. Especially if you are self-employed, as owning your own company affords you flexibility. A mompreneur – like mother-of-three Vanessa Bachmann – can structure her work herself. She makes a successful living as a child and family photographer. A classic mompreneur. It’s important not to forget about retirement provision in all of this.

Vanessa Bachmann loves her work as an independent photographer: “I actually need to do photography in order to be happy.” She has built up a company with her own photography studio and specializes in taking creative photos of babies, children, and families. She also takes photographs for magazine articles.

Since separating from her partner, her funds have been tight. She can only work in her photo studio at the weekend when the children are with their father and on Friday afternoons when they are at after-school care. Alongside her own business, Vanessa Bachmann also works one day a week at a children's concept store in Zurich so as to earn a fixed monthly income.

For her as a mother, that’s important. She takes care of her children Matilda, Emely, and Marlon four days a week. Childcare would be too expensive and wouldn’t be worthwhile. Marlon, the youngest, is with her all the time, while Matilda and Emely, who go to school and kindergarten respectively, join her in the afternoon. On Fridays all three are either in the day nursery or in after-school care, and from Friday to Sunday evening are with their father. In an emergency, Vanessa's mom helps out. An important source of support for a self-employed woman.

Juggling everything successfully as a mompreneur

This is how Vanessa Bachmann – as a mompreneur – manages to look after her children and also hold down her job and run her own business too. At the moment, that suits her as a woman and a mother. She enjoys the time with her children and also likes giving her creativity free rein, not only when crafting and baking at home, but also at work.

But when the children are older and all of them are at school she wants to work more again – preferably as a mompreneur in her own company. She isn’t in a position to set much aside for the future at the moment. Her finances don’t allow it.

She currently pays her compulsory OASI contributions for her self-employed assignments. She also receives education credits, which contribute to a higher retirement pension. The photographer does not currently pay any contributions to the second pillar as her 20% job does not reach the BVG minimum annual salary. Saving in the third pillar will also have to wait until she works more hours a week.

Naturally that has an impact on her retirement provision. She therefore realizes that she will have to work more hours as soon as possible to improve this and will have to proactively address the issue.

Providing successfully for the future – instead of going without

For a woman, providing for retirement is especially important, as childcare usually involves more interruptions to working life than it does for a man. Also: half of all marriages in Switzerland end in divorce – and a woman can suddenly be left on her own, as is the case with Vanessa Bachmann. As a self-employed mompreneur, woman, and single parent it is thus all the more important for her to address her retirement provision proactively.

She pays OASI contributions on her salary. As an individual entrepreneur with her own business, Vanessa Bachmann could voluntarily join a national substitute pension plan, but she has chosen not to. Her contributions to the third pillar are thus all the more important. As a self-employed mompreneur with her own business, she can pay up to 20% of her earned income, up to a maximum of CHF 34,416 per year, into Pillar 3a. But it's not always necessary to pay in the maximum, even much smaller amounts can be worthwhile. Moreover, self-employed mompreneurs can deduct their contributions to Pillar 3a from their taxes. If you have saved CHF 50,000 you should open a new account in order to save even more on taxes later when you withdraw your capital in stages.

What happens if as a self-employed mompreneur with your own company you are unable to work?

Does anyone ever expect the worst? But sickness, accidents, or even death can affect every woman. Even a mother with her own business. Anyone wishing to play it safe will take out whole life and occupational disability insurance. The latter will protect your family if you cannot achieve your accustomed income because you are unable to work. If you, as a mother and mompreneur, are unable to work – whether permanently or for a lengthy period – you will receive regular payments in addition to your other pension benefits. This insurance is very valuable for women and self-employed mothers as it offers protection against serious loss of earnings. Please note: It can be tailored flexibly to your needs and combined with your retirement provision.

As a self-employed mother you can provide your children with added protection in the form of whole life insurance. There is room for this insurance even in a small family budget. It is very flexible and can be combined with your other individual pension provision. If something happens to you – as a mompreneur – and you die, the death lump sum will be paid out immediately to the beneficiaries, regardless of any inheritance proceedings Your children will thus be financially provided for. That gives women and mothers peace of mind.

5 tips for mompreneurs

  • Tip 1:  As an individual entrepreneur you can join the National Substitute Pension Plan voluntarily: BVG National Substitute Pension Plan.
  • Tip 2: As an individual entrepreneur without a pension fund you can pay up to 20% of your annual earned income into the 3rd pillar – up to a maximum of CHF 34,416.
  • Tip 3: You should open a new Pillar 3 account as soon as you have saved CHF 50,000. This enables you to save more on taxes when you later withdraw the capital in stages.
  • Tip 4: With occupational disability insurance you protect your accustomed income if you become unable to work.
  • Tip 5: With whole life insurance, the death lump sum is paid out immediately to the beneficiaries regardless of any inheritance proceedings.

Mother, own business, and secured retirement provision: How it works

Having a successful career and also being a mother is always challenging. You have to juggle countless appointments, meet financial challenges, and stay true to yourself at the same time. Especially as a mompreneur.

That’s why it’s important to always take time to think of yourself, your needs as a woman, and of your future. If possible, start saving for your retirement early on. Compound interest effects can help to build up solid capital for old age, even with small amounts.

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