The Zurich FDP member of the Council of States, Ruedi Noser, heavily criticized the 2nd pillar as part of the BVG revision debate in December.
Occupational pensions, known as the second pillar, are less solid than the first pillar, the AHV. Everyone saves for themselves. It is therefore not particularly popular with the left. It also opens the floodgates to tax optimizers. Pension gaps arise with every salary increase, possibly also when changing jobs and definitely in the event of divorce. This means that there is the possibility of transferring additional funds to the pension fund. If you can, don’t miss it.
It is not only the higher performance in old age that is tempting. The tax deduction options are almost beguiling. Purchases into the pension funds can be deducted from taxable income. That gives.
However, not everyone has the financial means to do this. This is shown, for example, by the fact that only a minority transfers the full permitted amount to pillar 3a every year in order to be able to benefit from tax breaks.
Ruedi Noser is an entrepreneur and FDP member of the Canton of Zurich. When the revision of the Occupational Pensions Act (BVG) was debated in the Council of States in mid-December, the man from Zurich said with a Glarner accent that the 2nd pillar was nothing more than tax-supported saving. For him there are not just three contributors, i.e. not just employers, employees and the capital market. For him there is a fourth: the taxpayers.
If you pay a lot of taxes, you have a lot of money and therefore the opportunity to top up the pension fund assets and claim them in your tax return. Noser calls this “tax-supported saving”. But people who do not pay taxes would have nothing from the BVG. According to Noser, this applies all the more to people who earn higher wages later in old age and pay higher income taxes for it, only to then have to pay 100 percent tax on their small pension as income.
Why this criticism? As part of the change in the law, the Council of States was in the process of lowering the entry threshold so that people with lower incomes are also insured with the pension fund and later receive a pension from the AHV as well as a pension, albeit a very modest one.
“We’re making tax-privileged forced savings here,” said Noser in the debate. “All the low-wage women you want to support don’t pay taxes. You’re just taking money from them. These women don’t have to pay taxes, which means they have no interest in paying into the BVG.”
“bang!” one can only say. It’s not the first time we’ve heard that the 2nd pillar is a tax-saving vehicle for the rich. But it is not every day that we hear this from the mouth of a liberal. Can this honesty also be explained by the fact that Council of States Noser will not stand for re-election in the fall?