Disability Insurance (Switzerland)

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The Swiss disability insurance ( IV ) is a state and compulsory social insurance and, together with the old-age and survivors' insurance (AHV) and the supplementary benefits , forms the first - state - pillar of the Swiss three- pillar system . Its aim is to secure the insured person's livelihood in the event of disability by means of integration measures into the labor market or financial benefits. The Federal Act on Disability Insurance (IVG) , which is based on Articles 111 and 112 of the Federal Constitution , contains the legal basis for disability insurance.

Origin and history

In 1925 the Swiss electorate rejected a popular initiative for disability, old-age and survivors 'insurance (AHV), and in the same year they approved a federal decree on old-age, survivors' and disability insurance.

On January 1, 1960, the Federal Act on Disability Insurance came into force. Since then it has been revised on a larger scale in 1967, 1986, 1991, 2003 and 2008. It was last revised with the 5th IV revision, which came into force on January 1, 2008. The main features of the revision were the abolition of current supplementary pensions for married pensioners as well as the introduction of new instruments for the rapid and sustainable reintegration of persons unable to work. The first package of measures of the 6th IVG revision is to come into force on January 1, 2012 . The Federal Council submitted the dispatch on the 2nd package of measures to Parliament in May 2011.

On September 27, 2009, the people and the cantons approved the federal vote on the temporary additional funding of the disability insurance . From 2011 to 2017, the normal rate of VAT was 8.0%, the reduced rate 2.5% and the special rate for accommodation services 3.8%.


The IVG is a federal law, but implementation and enforcement is the responsibility of the individual cantons. Each canton has created a corresponding IV office for this purpose ( Art. 54 IVG ). Due to the cantonal practice in the implementation as well as due to the different exercise of the discretion in the implementation, there may be cantonal differences in the eligibility in individual cases. The disability insurance has largely the same structure as the AHV, with which it is also closely related in organizational terms.

Insured and contributions

The compulsory insurance and the contribution obligation are identical to those of the AHV. The contribution amount is 1.4% of the wage, at least half of which is paid back by the employer.


Integration measures

The IV has the task of reintegrating disabled people and people at risk of disability into the work process. A number of integration measures are available for this purpose. This can be retraining, but also further training courses, induction grants, internships or aids. The entitlement depends on the specific individual case and the impact of the corresponding measure on the ability to work. The OECD leader Christopher Prinz recommends Switzerland to block access for young people and instead offer “offensive activation models” for them in order to prevent young people from getting onto a lifelong pension at the age of 18. The background to this is the constant increase in pensions for 18-24 year-olds compared to the overall decreasing additions.


A pension will only be paid out if there is at least 40% disability after completion of the integration measures ( Art. 28 IVG ). The degree of disability is measured by comparing the income without disability (valid income) with the income that can reasonably be achieved with disability after completion of any integration measures (disability income). The disability income is usually based on table wages or on the income actually achieved, which is achieved despite the health impairment, provided that this corresponds to the work recommended by the IV medical examiner with damage to health. The resulting loss of earnings in percent corresponds to the degree of disability (100 × loss of earnings / valid income = degree of disability).

For people who were not gainfully employed before the onset of the disability, the degree of disability is determined based on the restriction in the household. This requires a clarification in the household of the insured person, during which the clarification staff at the IV offices collect in detail the area of ​​responsibility as it was before the disability occurred. The degree of disability is determined on the basis of the results of the household clarification and an independent medical assessment of the report.

For part-time workers, the degree of disability is measured using the so-called mixed method. Two degrees of disability are calculated. One for the acquisition part and one for the household part. These are then offset against each other according to their share.

Calculation of the IV pension

The amount of an IV pension depends on three factors; the degree of disability, the number of years of contributions and the average annual income. The maximum IV pension is CHF 2,370 per month (as of January 1, 2019). If the degree of disability is 40–49%, a quarter pension, 50–59% half a pension, 60–70% a three-quarter pension and 70–100% a full pension. After the IV office has determined the degree of disability, the pension is calculated and paid out by the AHV compensation office .

Recipients of IV pensions whose pension, together with other insurance benefits and any earned income, is not sufficient to support themselves, are supported with supplementary benefits .

Additional Services

The IV also finances aids, helplessness allowances and medical costs due to birth defects such as congenital heart defects. The medical costs for birth defects are only covered if they are listed in the Birth Defect Ordinance (GGV). In addition, the benefits are only paid up to the age of 20 ( Art. 13 IVG ). There is also a corresponding ordinance (HVI) with an appendix for aids , in which the eligibility requirements are defined and all aids are listed. These are given on loan or as property. The duration of the claim is not limited as long as the requirements are still met.

Performance statistics

In 2010, the disability insurance had 450,000 beneficiaries (250,000 men and 200,000 women). Of these, around 420,000 had their residence in Switzerland. In 2010, 280,000 disability pensions were paid out. Three quarters of these were full IV pensions. In 2010, disability insurance expenditure totaled 9.2 billion francs and income 8.2 billion francs, resulting in a deficit of 1.0 billion francs. The main causes of disability pensions were illnesses (191,000 people) as well as birth defects (29,000) and accidents (21,000).


Funding is mainly provided through income-related contributions from the insured. Other sources of funding are federal contributions , income from alcohol and tobacco tax , VAT and income from the casino tax .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Referendum of May 24, 1925. In: www.admin.ch. Retrieved May 26, 2016 .
  2. Referendum of December 6, 1925. In: www.admin.ch. Retrieved May 26, 2016 .
  3. Information about the 5th IV revision ( Memento from January 4, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Information on the 6th IV revision /  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.ivsk.ch
  5. Media release on the 6th IV revision, 2nd package of measures: last step towards sustainable restructuring of the disability insurance, FSIO, May 13, 2011  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.ivsk.ch
  6. Voting 09/27/09: Additional IV financing through temporary VAT increase
  7. Voting results
  8. Michael Schoenenberger: Complete reform of the IV system for young people , NZZ, May 16, 2014
  9. ^ Federal Social Insurance Office FSIO (ed.): Monthly full pensions, scale 44 . 318.117.1 df, September 2018 ( ahv-iv.ch [PDF]).
  10. ^ Systematic collection of laws : Ordinance on birth defects
  11. Systematic collection of laws : Ordinance on the provision of medical aids by the disability insurance (HVI)
  12. ^ IV Statistics 2010, p. 1 ( Memento from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file)