Category Archive: 3.) Personal Finance

Recent price rises only the beginning, says Swiss consumer association

Food, energy and housing costs are rising in Switzerland and consumers are beginning to change their spending habits. So far inflation in Switzerland has been moderate with annual inflation of 2.5%. However, according to FRC, a consumer association in French-speaking Switzerland, recent price rises are only the beginning, reported RTS.

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Tips for cutting energy bills

As the prices of fossil fuels skyrocket and further supply and price uncertainty looms, many are seeking ways to cut the amount they spend on home energy. A publication by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) shows where savings can be made.

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Average annual healthcare costs hit 9,600 francs in Switzerland in 2020

Statistics published on 26 April 2022 show health expenditure in Switzerland rose to CHF 9,648 (US$ 10,8001) per person in 2020, making Switzerland (probably) the second biggest per-capita healthcare spender in the world – the OECD has not yet published 2020 expenditure for the US, which is typically the world’s highest spender.

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Chart of the week: Swiss retirement age compared

Switzerland’s retirement age of 65 for men and 64 for women puts its state pensioners in the youngest half of OECD retirees. Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.comThis week, when a Swiss parliamentarian asked in which direction pension reform was heading, he received a written response that said the state pension system could be stabilised from 2030 with a rise in the retirement age to 68 for both men and women, reported the NZZ newspaper....

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Higher tax deductions for parents in Switzerland starting in 2023

This week, Switzerland’s government set a date for the introduction of more generous tax deductions for childcare. From 1 January 2023, parents will be able to deduct up to CHF 25,000 per child in childcare costs from their annual taxable income, reported RTS. Currently, the maximum is CHF 10,100 per child.

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Vote against Swiss “Netflix tax” passes signature hurdle

In October 2021, Switzerland’s government created a law requiring online streaming services to pay money into a Swiss cinema fund. Under the law, from 2024, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ will need to pay a levy equivalent to 4% of their Swiss turnover into the fund, which would be spent on producing Swiss films.

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Two Swiss cities remain in top 10 most expensive globally

The latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey of the prices of 200 goods and services in 173 cities placed both Geneva and Zurich in the top 10 most expensive cities in 2021. Overall, the cost of living across these 173 cities has risen by an average of 3.5%, the highest inflation seen in the last 5 years.

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Average Swiss household income reaches nearly 115,000 francs

The gross mean household income in Switzerland was CHF 114,984 (US$ 125,000) in 2019, according to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). Overall, 40% of households in Switzerland had income over this mean while 60% brought in less.

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Swiss Federal Council rejects two votes on pension reform

This week, the Federal Council rejected two very different initiatives aimed at changing the state pension system. In common with much of the developed world, Switzerland is facing a large gap between the money required to fund state pensions and the money flowing in to pay for them, a challenge driven by increasing life expectancy, a rise in the number of pensioners as the population ages and the way the system is funded.

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Lights out – Geneva to cut lights to save electricity

This week, the government of the canton of Geneva changed a law to require non residential buildings, with some exceptions, to switch off their lights at night between 1am and 6am.

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Swiss government deficit for 2021 revised down

The latest forecast for 2021 shows a deficit of CHF 14.8 billion, down CHF 2.6 billion from an earlier forecast shortfall of CHF 17.4 billion. The deficit is driven mainly by the extraordinary cost of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Swiss unemployment down, especially among young

Unemployment fell from 2.7% to 2.6% in September 2021 in Switzerland, with a sharp drop among those aged 15 to 24, reported RTS. By the end of September 2021, just over 200,000 people were looking for employment in Switzerland according to Switzerland’s standard measure, which is focused on those registered with the official unemployment office, something required to collect unemployment benefits.

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Swiss pandemic spending low when compared internationally

The think tank Avenir Suisse has calculated that in 2020 the Swiss federal government spent CHF 5 per person per day on the pandemic, a total of CHF 41 million a day.

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Swiss heirs must repay 15 years of illegally claimed welfare

In 2016, the social security office in Zurich discovered a concealed bank account containing CHF 1 million belonging to a deceased man who had received welfare payments for 13 years, reported RTS.

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Swiss flood damage could cost half a billion francs

Switzerland’s four largest buildings insurers estimate the costs of recent weather events could reach half a billion francs across Switzerland, reported RTS. According to Grégoire Deiss, who works for the cantonal buildings insurer ECAB in Fribourg, the cost of recent storms and flooding could be around CHF 500 million across all of Switzerland, a figure he based on claims that have been made so far.

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Price comparison site Comparis customer data exposed in ransomware attack

On 9 July 2021, the Swiss price comparison website Comparis revealed that it had been the victim of a ransomeware cyber attack on Wednesday, 7 July 2021. According to Comparis, the attack occurred in the morning. Comparis took down several of its sites as a security measure. The attackers demanded money in exchange for decrypting data.

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Swiss social spending up nearly 60 percent in 20 years

In 1999, social expenditure in Switzerland was CHF 13,370 per resident. By 2019, the same figure had reached CHF 21,300, a rise of nearly 60%. Over the same period, total inflation was around 11%. Applying inflation to CHF 13,370 brings the figure to CHF 14,480. Why has the cost risen beyond this and how has the extra spending been funded?

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Swiss Unemployment Continues to Fall in May

By the end of May 2021, the percentage of Switzerland’s workforce registered as out of work had fallen to 3.1%, down from 3.3% in April 2021. The figures are based on those registered as unemployed at regional employment centres and exclude many of those that have been out of for more than two years and have exhausted their rights to collect unemployment benefits.

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Swiss consumer sentiment nearly back to pre-crisis level

The primary reason for the rise in consumer sentiment is a significant improvement in expectations regarding general economic development. This sub-index climbed from -18 points in January to +3 in April, the highest value recorded since autumn 2018, indicating that consumers are expecting the economic recovery to continue over the coming twelve months.

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Swiss upper house votes to raise pension age for women

As Switzerland’s population ages the number of people paid state pension is rising relative to the number of workers funding it. Since 2014, more has been paid out than has been paid in. The most effective way to fix this imbalance is to raise the pension age. If the average life expectancy of a retiree is 15 years, then raising the pension age by one year will cut the cost by nearly 7%.

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