Supplementary benefits (SB) are borne jointly by the federal government and the cantons. They are paid to people drawing an AVS or AI pension, provided they reside in Switzerland and their legally recognised expenses exceed their income as taken into account, i.e. their income does not cover their minimum cost of living. SB are needs-based insurance benefits to which the recipients have a legal entitlement.
The annual SB statistics provide information on the number of recipients, on benefits paid and expenses incurred as well as on the elements used to calculate the SB, such as rent / home fees and assets. The SB statistics are central to interpreting the economic situation of AVS and AI pensioners. They also reveal the effects of statutory changes on the growth of benefits and expenses. The statistics are a key steering tool for the upcoming reform of supplementary benefits. The statistical information provided to decision-makers is enhanced by additional direct surveys of the SB offices carried out by the FSIO (e.g. lump-sum withdrawals under the 2nd Pillar and subsequent drawing of SB).