Swiss get thirteenth pension fee | | EUROtoday

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As of: March 3, 2024 5:48 p.m

There is discuss of a “historic referendum” in Switzerland: for the primary time, a requirement for extra welfare state was profitable in a referendum. The majority voted for a thirteenth pension fee.

Kathrin Hondl

There was nice celebration among the many commerce unions in Switzerland after 58.2 p.c voted “yes” to the introduction of a thirteenth month pension for all pensioners. “For” was the motto of the favored initiative – “a better life in old age”. “The people have the power in our country and are showing it,” says Pierre-Yves Maillard, President of the Swiss Trade Union Confederation.

He is “very proud” of democracy in Switzerland – of the “wonderful news” to all those that have labored all their lives. “The population has proven that the social pact in this country still works.”

Need for a stronger state

The clear “yes” majority to the unions' proposal means: The so-called “AHV pension” – the “first pillar” of retirement provision in Switzerland and a sort of primary pension for everybody, presently a most of two,450 francs – will instantly be elevated by 8 .3 p.c elevated.

Just a couple of years in the past, a comparable pension improve initiative was clearly rejected by the Swiss inhabitants. But instances have modified: Rising costs for power, housing and meals are additionally placing stress on individuals in wealthy Switzerland. In this historically economically liberal nation, the necessity for a stronger state is rising.

So far, the financial system has dominated

The referendum marks a sort of turning level, says political scientist Michael Hermann: “This is really a historic decision for Switzerland. Because a popular initiative to expand the welfare state has never been accepted in Switzerland. This is the first time. And it will have an impact affect the entire political structure of Switzerland.”

Until now, the financial system has truly at all times been dominant in Switzerland. The enterprise associations had been truly in a position to win nearly each initiative with the argument that it was too costly, stated Hermann.

The authorities and the bulk conservative parliament had been additionally in opposition to the pension improve. There is correspondingly nice remorse right here after the referendum. The youthful individuals would now be “asked to pay” to finance their thirteenth month pension, stated Brigitte Häberli-Koller, parliamentarian for the Center Party: “Their buying energy will dwindle, their wage taxes will improve, costs will rise. We should endure.”

“Displeasure in direction of financial escapades”

But the inhabitants's “yes” to greater pensions is evident: within the French- and Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland, approval was much more than 70, and in some circumstances greater than 80 p.c. The indisputable fact that the Swiss had been in a position to see final 12 months how rapidly the state got here to the help of the scandalous financial institution Credit Suisse with ensures value billions may have performed a job, based on political scientist Urs Bieri: “It's also about resentment among the population economic escapades.”

The exceptionally excessive voter turnout of round 59 p.c exhibits how a lot the problem of pensions impacts the Swiss. As anticipated, a second proposal had no likelihood within the referendum: the Young Liberals' proposal was rejected with 75 p.c “no” votes. They didn't wish to improve the pension, however slightly the retirement age.

Kathrin Hondl, ARD Geneva, tagesschau, March 3, 2024 5:01 p.m