Tag Archive: Editor’s Choice

Amazon coming to Switzerland

According to the newspaper Bilanz, Amazon has signed an agreement with Swiss post to provide rapid customs clearance. The head of postal customs, Felix Stierli, confirmed discussions with the company.A maximum customs clearance time of 3 hours will allow 24-hour delivery, one element of Amazon’s Prime offer.

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Where an average Swiss household spends its income

A recent report from Switzerland Federal Statistical Office shows how an average Swiss household spends its income. In 2015, the mean income was CHF 9,946 per month, including all forms of income and any 13th month payment received at the end of the year.

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Swiss still richest, according to Credit Suisse

The Credit Suisse 2017 Global Wealth Report, shows total global wealth rose 6.4% to USD 280 trillion in 2016, taking it to the its highest level since 2007, before the financial meltdown in 2008. Globally, average wealth per adult was USD 56,540. In Switzerland, the same figure was USD 537,600 (CHF 533,000), close to ten times the global average, placing Switzerland in the lead, if Iceland – with unreliable data – is ignored.

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Health insurance rise in 2018 even higher, according to new calculation

At the end of September the Swiss government announced an average nationwide health premium rise of 4% in 2018. This government calculation is rather narrow. It only looks at the price of standard compulsory insurance, including accident cover, for an adult with a CHF 300 deductible. Price comparison site bonus.ch calculates that this policy configuration only applies to 18.3% of residents.

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Swiss government says it has a plan to contain healthcare costs

As next year’s health premium bills find their way into Swiss mail or email boxes, the reality of another round of price increases starts to bite. Earlier this week, Switzerland’s Federal Council unveiled 38 measures that will be considered as part of a plan to tackle Switzerland’s rising health costs. A final plan will be presented next spring, according to 20 Minutes.

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End of tax-free online shopping delayed by a year

Last year Switzerland’s government announced plans to change the rules on charging VAT on imported goods. Currently, most things ordered abroad and sent through the post to Switzerland that attract VAT of less than CHF 5, are waived through customs free of charge.

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Swiss government announces TV tax cut ahead of vote to eliminate it

On Wednesday, the Federal Council said it will cut Switzerland’s TV-Radio tax from CHF 451 to CHF 365 annually from 2019. According to Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, the cut is made possible by cost savings from simplifying the system and an increase in the numbers who will pay it – everyone will soon pay, not just those with a receiving device.

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The new 10 Swiss franc note hand mystery

The third in a series of gorgeous new Swiss franc bank notes will be released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on October 18th. The 10-franc note keeps its yellow colour, but most everything else in the design and construction is different. What’s most remarkable about the new bank note? Not the 40 centimes or so it takes to make each note, nor that each note is projected to last only about a year. Not the sophisticated security measures, including...

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3 million francs of gold and silver found in Swiss sewers

Call it “dirty money” if you wish, because there’s about CHF 3 million in gold and silver found each year in Swiss sewage. But no one is going to get rich, according to a just-published report by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). Recovering the estimated CHF 1.5 million in gold, and the same in silver, that passes through Swiss wastewater each year, wouldn’t be cost-effective, says the report. On the bright...

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Talk of cutting Swiss pensions paid to foreign residents

According to Le Matin, Jean-Luc Addor, a parliamentarian and member of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP), wants to know what savings could be made if pensions paid to those abroad were adjusted for living costs in those countries. According to the newspaper, after the rejection of the vote to reform Swiss pensions, Addor said that the rejected reform was aimed at guaranteeing the financing of the pension system over the coming years, as well as...

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Swiss 2018 health premiums unveiled. Brace yourself.

Yesterday, the Swiss government released health insurance premiums for 2018. There are price hikes across the board, particularly in French-speaking Switzerland. Next year, the price of standard compulsory insurance for an adult with a CHF 300 deductible will rise 4% on average. The cost varies by canton. Prices rises range from 1.6% to 6.4%. Health premiums for children will rise by an average of 5%, more than those for adults.

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Survey offers clues to why Swiss rejected last Sunday’s pension reform

A survey by Tamedia offers clues to why 52.7% of Swiss voters rejected the pension reform plan that was put to a vote last Sunday. 20% of those voting “no” thought it was a pseudo reform that didn’t go far enough, while 26% felt it left too much of a burden on younger taxpayers. In 1981, when the life expectancy of an average Swiss woman was 79.2 years, the average time spent collecting the state pension was 15.2 years. Now an average Swiss woman...

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Swiss want TV tax cut by half, according to survey

Some who move to Switzerland might not be aware that they are almost certainly required to pay one of the world’s highest broadcasting fees. An annual Swiss licence costs CHF 451.10 per household. A successful vote in 2015 changed the rules on who must pay the fee. From 2019, it will be compulsory for anyone with a primary or secondary residence in Switzerland to pay it, effectively making it a tax on all households. At a new lower price of CHF 400...

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Housing in Zurich and Geneva only moderately overvalued, says UBS

The UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2017 describes housing in Zurich and Geneva as only moderately overvalued. The two Swiss cities rank 6th (Geneva) and 9th (Zurich) in a list of 20 selected global cities. The top eight: Toronto, Stockholm, Munich, Vancouver, Sydney, London, Hong Kong and Amsterdam are all classified as bubble risk. Only Chicago is undervalued.

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Geneva and Lausanne remain Switzerland’s toughest home markets

Home vacancy rates in Switzerland’s main cities have all risen over the last few years, bringing some hope to those looking for a place to live. The latest 2017 data confirm this trend. While these percentage shifts might appear big, very low vacancy rates underly them. On 1 June 2012, none of these cities had a vacancy rate above 1%. Zurich (0.29%), Bern (0.48%), Basel (0.13%), Lausanne (0.28%) and Geneva (0.21%) were all well below 1% vacancy...

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Switzerland’s home ownership illusion

When 10-year mortgage interest rates fall to 1%, home ownership becomes a very attractive alternative to renting. A recent report on home ownership shows why home ownership remains out of reach of the average Swiss household despite very low interest rates.The report, by Credit Suisse, says that despite the strong desire for people to own their own home, fewer and fewer households are able to afford them as the years go by.

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Switzerland’s most expensive apartments in Zurich, Maloja and Lavaux

According to data from comparis.ch, Switzerland’s most expensive apartments are found in Zurich, Maloja – home to Saint-Moritz, and Lavaux-Oron. One square metre will cost you CHF 12,250 (US$ 13,000) in Zurich, CHF 11,500 in Maloja and CHF 11,250 in Lavaux-Oron. Lavaux-Oron contains posh parts of Greater Lausanne, such as Lutry, and the UNESCO-listed wine terraces of Lavaux on the shore of Lake Geneva.

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Finding a place to rent getting easier in Switzerland

A recent Credit Suisse report, entitled: Tenants Wanted, says capital continues to flow into Swiss real estate, boosting the supply of rental properties. Against a backdrop of negative interest rates at Switzerland’s central bank, investors continue to plough money into constructing new residential properties. At the same time, declining immigration has hit the demand for rental apartments.

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A Swiss parliamentary commission wants to get rid of imputed rent

In Switzerland, home owners have to add a theoretical rent to their taxable income. This means home ownership can increase your annual tax bill, sometimes substantially.

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Higher Swiss health premiums for those with high deductibles challenged by commission

In June 2017, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced plans to reduce the discounts offered to those willing to risk paying the first chunk of their annual medical bills. The plan included reducing the maximum premium discounts given for opting for deductibles, the amount paid by the insured before insurance kicks in.

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