1. Equal treatment
In principle, covered persons enjoy the same rights and are subject to the same obligations as nationals from the other contracting state, by virtue of the legislation in that state.
In other words, as regards OASI/DI, one state is in principle obliged to accord the nationals of the other contracting state the same treatment as its own nationals.
2. Applicable legislation
In principle, covered persons are subject to a single set of social security legislation.
Thus, persons in gainful employment are, in principle, subject to the legislation of the state in which they exercise that activity. A temporary posting to another state constitutes an exception to the principle of affiliation based on work location.
3. Benefits exporting and one-off payments
Most bilateral agreements provide for ordinary OASI/DI pensions to be exported anywhere in the world.
Ordinary DI pensions at a rate lower than 50% remain restricted to the territory of Switzerland.
Some bilateral agreements can provide for a lump-sum benefit, a reimbursement of OASI contributions or a transfer of OASI contributions to a foreign social security scheme.
Reimbursement of contributions
Transfer of contributions
The contracting states are required to assist each other in implementing bilateral agreements.
5. Submission of benefit applications
Applications for benefits must be submitted to the social security institution of the responsible contracting state, depending on the place of residence. In the case of applications for OASI/DI pensions submitted to the foreign social security institution, that institution is responsible for passing on the application to the Swiss Compensation Office or the DI Office for people living abroad.
Request for a foreign benefit
Request for an old-age pension from Switzerland
Request for a survivors' pension from Switzerland
Request for a disability pension from Switzerland
6. Assessment of eligibility and calculation of pension
Each state has its own social security system and defines the conditions (retirement age, minimum contribution period, disability assessment, etc.) and the calculation basis for allocating benefits in accordance with its legislation.
In Switzerland, a minimum contribution period of one year is required for ordinary OASI pensions; for ordinary DI pensions, this period is three years.
Conditions for and calculation of Swiss old-age pensions
Conditions for and calculation of Swiss survivors' pensions
Conditions for and calculation of Swiss disability pensions
Where provided for under a bilateral agreement, contribution periods abroad can be included if the contribution periods in Switzerland are not sufficient to confer eligibility for a DI pension.
Provided the conditions for payment are met, Switzerland pays a pension calculated on the basis of insurance periods in accordance with its legislation. Persons who have been insured in more than one state may claim a partial pension from each of these states.