Switzerland has a solid and effective social insurance network. This situation must also continue in the future, in both good economic times and bad, because a strong social safety net is a major contributor to social harmony.
The Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) ensures the smooth functioning of the social security system, constantly adapting it to the new challenges which arise. It is responsible for old-age and survivors’ insurance (OASI), invalidity insurance, supplementary benefits, occupational benefits (pension funds), loss of earnings compensation for military and civilian service personnel, maternity payments, transition benefits and family allowances. It is also responsible at federal level for family, children’s, youth and old age issues, generational relations and general socio-political issues. The FSIO also initiates and coordinates reciprocal social security agreements with other countries.
The Swiss Confederation spends about one third of its budget on social welfare. In recent years this amounted to about CHF 20 billion.
There is only a limited choice of information available in English. An overview page indicates where to find information of particular relevance to the English-speaking community.