Insurance and pension

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ETH Zurich is subject to the Swiss social security system, which is based on a three-tiered pension scheme and compulsory accident insurance.

In addition to this, ETH Zurich offers its employees benefits which provide a higher level of insurance cover in the event of an accident or illness.

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Old-age pensions

Federal retirement and survivors’ insurance (AHV)

The first tier of the pension scheme – Federal Retirement and Survivors’ Insurance – is compulsory for all employees regardless of their citizenship. It is intended to cover basic needs in old age.

Occupational pensions

The second tier – occupational pensions – is intended to enable people, in an appropriate manner, to maintain their accustomed standard of living in old age. This is compulsory for employees whose salaries are at or above a specific minimum level and is guaranteed by the occupational pension fund. Employers are obliged to pay at least 50% of the required contributions.

ETH Zurich employees are insured by PUBLICA (the Swiss Federal Pension Fund) with a defined contribution plan. Under the contribution plan, benefits are based on the amounts credited through contributions plus any deposits in the account (including interest). At ETH Zurich, the employee pays 36% of the monthly contributions, with the remaining 64% paid by the employer.

Employees also have the option to pay voluntary contributions which entitle them to greater pension and withdrawal benefits.

Private savings plans

The third tier – private savings plans – is optional and is based on private savings.

Retirement age

The retirement age in Switzerland is 64 for women and 65 for men. Early retirement may only be taken from the age of 60.

Accident insurance

Accident insurance distinguishes between occupational and non-occupational accidents.

Occupational accident insurance

All employees whose salaries are subject to social insurance contributions must be insured against occupational accidents. This insurance covers medical expenses and daily allowances, provides accident-related disability benefits and supports surviving dependents following the death of the insured person.

Eligible employees at ETH Zurich are insured by the Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund SUVA against the consequences of occupational accidents. The insurance premium is paid by ETH Zurich.

Non-occupational accident insurance

Non-occupational accident insurance covers the financial consequences of accidents which did not take place at work. All workers employed in Switzerland are insured against non-occupational accidents on a compulsory basis, provided that they work at least eight hours a week for the same employer.

As the employer, ETH Zurich pays one third of the premium for non-occupational accident insurance, with the employee paying the remaining two thirds.

Employees who work for less than eight hours a week are not insured against non-occupational accidents (except for accidents which take place on the way to and from work). These persons must make sure, at their own expense, that accidents are covered by their compulsory health insurance policy.

In addition to their compulsory accident insurance, ETH Zurich employees can also opt to take out private supplementary insurance from AXA Winterthur with attractive premiums.

Continued pay

Employees who are unable to work due to illness or an accident shall continue to receive their salary for a maximum period of 730 days.

Health insurance

Health insurance companies

All persons working in Switzerland must take out insurance from a health insurance company within three months, irrespective of their age and state of health. They are free to choose any health insurance company throughout Switzerland.

Two health insurance companies offer ETH employees a discount on additional insurance, see offers and benefits.

Information about exemption from the compulsory health insurance for foreign employees in the Canton of Zurich can be found here (PDF, 43 KB).

Continued pay

Employees who are unable to work due to illness or an accident shall continue to receive their salary for a maximum period of 730 days.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance provides compensation (ALV, continued pay) in the event of unemployment and supports the reintegration of unemployed persons in the job market. Unemployment insurance contributions are compulsory.

Invalidity Insurance

Invalidity insurance (IV) covers the financial consequences of an employee being rendered unable to work due to disability. It aims to integrate respectively reintegrate a disabled person or to secure the payment of pensions if an integration is not possible. Invalidity insurance contributions are compulsory.

Please note: The information on this page is meant for information purposes only. No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. The rules and regulations may have changed in the meantime. For legally binding information please contact the responsible authority.

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