Paying contributions in Switzerland if employer is based in an EU or EFTA state

Employers based in the EU or EFTA that have no branches in Switzerland and that employ persons who are subject to statutory Swiss social-security regulations are obliged to pay the contributions prescribed by Swiss law and, as a general principle, are required to settle their financial obligations directly with the responsible Swiss funding bodies.

The employees must be nationals of EU or EFTA member states, i.e. persons covered by the convention on freedom of movement between Switzerland and the EU or by the EFTA agreement. Nationals of other countries are exempt.

Possible employment constellations

In the following cases, foreign employers have to join the relevant Swiss insurance providers:

Agreement between employers and employees

Foreign employers and their employees may agree that the employees are themselves responsible for paying social-security contributions in Switzerland (Art. 21 (2) of Regulation (EC) no. 987/2009). In addition to their wages, however, employers must also pay employees the employer’s share of social-security contributions and contributions to administrative costs. A model agreement of this type can be downloaded from the Internet:

This does not mean that the employer is exempt from its liability to pay the contributions. The agreement is entirely voluntary and merely simplifies the payment of contributions. If no such agreement is reached, employers must pay the contributions prescribed by Swiss law.

Last modification 24.02.2016

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