The Swiss elect to increase their pensions

Voters in Switzerland have granted themselves an additional month’s pension annually as a result of a national referendum on senior living standards. The administration had forewarned that the higher payments would be unaffordable. But in Sunday’s poll, nearly 60% of voters answered “yes.” Also, 75% of respondents opposed raising the pension age from 65 to 66. Many claim that the highest monthly state pension of €2,550 (£2,180; $2,760) is insufficient to support oneself in Switzerland. Living expenses in Switzerland are among the highest in the world, especially in cities like Zurich and Geneva.


Everyone must have health insurance, but the costs have been rising quickly, making it sometimes difficult for elderly individuals to afford them. Making ends meet can be especially tough for foreigners hired decades ago to work in Swiss factories, restaurants, or hospitals, as well as women who may have taken breaks from their jobs to raise a family. An increasing number of people are working into their 70s out of necessity rather than choice. Meanwhile, burnout and stress from the workplace are rising among younger people. The Swiss government, parliament, and industry leaders opposed the trade unions’ request to raise pensions, citing financial constraints.


In financial affairs, Swiss voters are known to follow their government’s lead; a few years back, they even rejected a proposal to extend the annual vacation period by one week. This time, they voted themselves an extra month’s pension annually, utilizing the authority granted to them by Switzerland’s direct democracy system. In addition, the initiative achieved the necessary double-majority by winning majorities in the majority of the 26 cantons in the nation in addition to the popular vote. Avivo, a Swiss organization that protects the rights of present and future retirees, called the outcome a “historic victory for retirees”. Workers will receive two payments in November as a result of the change, which aligns the state pension with Switzerland’s salary system, which is likewise paid in thirteen installments.

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