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What sort of protection do I have if I become disabled?

What happens if I become wholly or partly incapable of work due to an illness or an accident? What sort of insurance cover do I have? When do I start to get financial support? How much is the disability pension? All the important things you need to know about disability and pension provision with comPlan.

A person is disabled if it is to be expected that they will be permanently, or for a considerable time, unable to work (all the time or at all). A person's disability is recognised, and their degree of disability determined, by a ruling by the Federal Disability Insurance (IV).

If you become unable to work and the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) rules that you are no longer capable of gainful employment (or no longer capable of it on a full-time basis), you are entitled to a disability pension. Receiving one is conditional on your having been insured with us at the time you became unable to work. You may also receive disability-linked children's pensions from us.

From when do I receive a disability pension?

If you are partially or completely unable to do your work due to illness or an accident, you will initially receive continuing salary payments and/or accident or sickness daily allowances.

You then become entitled to a disability pension once the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) recognises you as disabled. You will receive a disability pension from us subject to the following conditions being met:

  • The degree of disability as calculated by the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) is at least 25%.

  • You are no longer receiving continuing salary payments or accident or sickness daily allowances.

  • You were insured with our fund at the time you become incapable of working.

You will also generally receive a disability-linked children's pension for each child. For this to happen, though, one of the following conditions has to be met:

  • The child isn’t 18 years old yet

  • The child is in education or training and isn’t 25 years old yet

  • The child is at least 70% disabled and isn’t 25 years old yet

Your disability pension and the disability-linked children's pensions will be paid for no longer than until you reach the age of 65. After that, you will receive a disability retirement pension and possibly disability-linked children's pensions.

How much is my disability pension?

The amount of your comPlan disability pension depends on your degree of disability:

  • You get a full disability pension if you’re at least 70% disabled.

  • If you’re between 25% and 69% disabled, you will receive a partial disability pension, the amount of which will be calculated on the basis of your degree of disability according to the Federal Disability Insurance (IV).

The full disability pension amounts to 50% of the insured salary at the time you become disabled. A disability-linked children's pension corresponds to 20% of your disability pension for each child meeting the conditions. However, your disability pension and disability-linked children's pensions may be reduced if the sum of all pensions in the event of disability together with other eligible income (e.g. IV and UVG pensions and the remaining income from work) exceeds 90% of the last annual salary before you became disabled.

Example: According to the ruling by the Federal Disability Insurance (IV), you are 100% disabled as a result of illness and had an insured salary of CHF 60,000 at the time you became disabled. You receive a continuing salary payment during the first two years of your incapacity to work. In the meantime, the Federal Disability Insurance awards you a full disability pension (IV degree 100%). For example, this amounts to CHF 18,000 per year or CHF 1,500 per month. The IV children’s pension for your three children is CHF 7,200 each (the IV pays 40% of CHF 18,000 as an IV child pension). After a year, then, you receive IV benefits totalling CHF 39,600 per year (CHF 18,000 + (3 x CHF 7,200)).

Once your sick pay and sickness benefits cease, you are entitled to our disability pension. This amounts to CHF 30,000 (CHF 60,000 Ă— 50% for a whole disability pension) per year or CHF 2,500 per month. You will receive for each of your children a disability-linked child pension of CHF 6,000 (20% x CHF 30,000) per year or CHF 500 per month. Overall, you would receive annual pension benefits to a total amount of CHF 48,000 from us. Together with the IV benefits of CHF 39,600, all disability benefits would amount to CHF 87,600, which would be well above the previous insured earnings of CHF 60,000. However, the pension fund regulations specify that the total of all pensions may not exceed CHF 54,000 (90% of CHF 60,000), so our benefits are reduced to a total of CHF 14,400 (CHF 54,000 - CHF 39,600). The disability pension and disability-linked children's pensions must be reduced accordingly.

You can find out how much your disability pension is from your pension certificate on comPlan Online. It always refers to a 100% degree of disability and takes no account of reductions.

What happens to my disability pension if I retire at the age of 65?

You will receive a disability pension up to the ordinary comPlan retirement age (65 for both men and women). At the same time, we will continue the process of saving for your retirement from the time you become disabled. From the date on which you become disabled, we continue to credit contributions under the Standard savings option to your retirement savings (so you are exempted from making any yourself) and pay interest on these savings. When you turn 65, your disability pension will be converted into a lifetime disability retirement pension.

This will be calculated on the basis of your retirement assets and the conversion rate applicable to your age at the time of retirement. If applicable, a vested rights supplement will be added to this amount.

Tip 1
You can check the amount of your retirement pension on comPlan Online (point 2a of the pension certificate). Log in with your private Swisscom Customer Centre login and click on "Insurance certificate" under "Documents" in the archive.

Can I, as a disability pensioner, receive a lump sum when I retire?

When you reach the normal comPlan retirement age (65 for men and women), you have the option of withdrawing all or part of your savings as a lump sum or converting them into a lifelong retirement pension. The retirement pension amounts to at least 90% of the insured disability pensionmay include a vested rights supplement. How any vested benefits supplement is calculated is described in the pension fund regulations in the appendix. This minimum amount is adjusted proportionately where some of the pension is taken as a lump sum.

In order to preserve your pension capital, you must submit an application to withdraw capital at least one month before reaching retirement age (65 for men and women). If you are married or living in a civil partnership then your spouse or partner must co-sign the application with certification from a notary. Changes to the submitted application may be made up to one month before you reach retirement age and must also be co-signed by your partner (with certification from a notary). The lump sum is deducted from your retirement assets to calculate the amount of the retirement pension and is subject to capital tax at a reduced tax rate regardless of your income. If you take all your retirement savings as a lump sum, you will no longer be entitled to benefits (e.g. survivors’ benefits) from us from the date on which you retire.

Example: You are a disability pensioner. At the age of 65, your retirement savings amount to CHF 600'000. The conversion rate applicable to you is 5%. In the example, your vested rights supplement amounts to CHF 10'000 per year. Your lifelong retirement pension is therefore CHF 40'000 (CHF 600'000 x 5% + CHF 10'000) per year or CHF 3'333 per month. You would like to withdraw 25% or CHF 150'000 as a lump sum and convert the rest into a lifelong retirement pension. You will therefore receive a one-off payment of CHF 150'000 and a lifelong retirement pension of CHF 30'000 (CHF 40'000 -25%) or CHF 2'000 per month. In the event of death, the surviving spouse's pension is 60% of the retirement pension. Thus, the lump sum withdrawal reduces the surviving spouse's pension from CHF 2'000 (CHF 3'333 x 60%) to CHF 1'000 (CHF 2'000 x 60%) per month.

Can I receive an advance payment if the decision of the Federal Disability Insurance is delayed?

You will receive an IV advance payment from us if the following conditions are met:

  • You have been incapable of working for at least 12 months.

  • Your employment has not been terminated within these 12 months.

  • You registered for an IV pension with the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) more than six months ago.

  • Your continuing salary payments or daily benefits from IV, unemployment, health, accident or military insurance have expired.

In this situation, you are entitled to an IV advance from us.

The amount of the full IV advance corresponds to 50% of the insured salary on assumed occurrence of disability and, in addition, of the maximum IV pension at the time of grant (currently CHF 28,200 per year or CHF 2,350 per month) adjusted in line with your degree of employment. The amount is adjusted in line with the degree of incapacity to work. Your advance IV payment will end when the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) ruling becomes available, if the IV application is withdrawn or if you regain the ability to work The IV advance must be offset against the pension fund’s retroactive pension entitlements and the retroactive pension entitlements of the Swiss disability insurance scheme.

Example: You have worked in the Swisscom Group with an employment level of 80% and are now 50% disabled. You receive a continuing salary payment during the first two years of your incapacity to work. After these two years, you qualify for an IV advance and your presumed disability pension is CHF 18,000 per year or CHF 1,500 per month. The amount of your IV advance thus amounts to CHF 23,100 per year (50% of CHF 18,000 + 50% of CHF 28,200) or CHF 1,925 per month.

You can find out how much your disability pension is from your pension certificate on comPlan Online. It always refers to a 100% degree of disability. On this basis, you can work out for yourself how much an IV advance would amount to.

Do I have to inform comPlan of my incapacity to work?

You don’t have to inform us of it. Your employer will inform us that you are no longer able to work (whether part-time or full-time) after 180 days. The rulings of the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) are sent to us directly. We will contact you if we need further documents.