Employment, insurance and social security

Common issues for expats in Switzerland

Employment, insurance and social security

Registering for social security in Switzerland for expats can be problematic, especially for those who remain employed in their home country. This of course all depends on your country of employment, nationality and type of employment, all of which determine the kind of social security you need.

There are two factors which affect the ease at which you can register for social security: the first being health insurance, and the second being any insurance connected with your employment, also known as the “first pillar” (old age insurance, unemployment insurance, invalidity insurance etc.).

In terms of health insurance, it is difficult for those who are employed abroad while living in Switzerland to determine which country they should register for their health insurance. Although this is not an easy question to answer, since it is based on factors such as: the structure of the company, the type of work, and whether or not individual insurance is mandatory the expat’s home country (or the country in which they are employed).

Unfortunately, there are no general rules to cover every individual case, so the best thing to do is to find out what you need to do as soon as you arrive in Switzerland. Exemptions are time sensitive and you can lose the right to social security after a certain period of time.

The second factor comes into play if the country in which you are employed does not have a social security agreement with Switzerland. In some cases, you may find that you have to contribute to the Swiss system. Again, it is recommended that you find out from an expert before you receive an unexpected bill.


This article was submitted by Swissbenefits 

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: