Tag Archive: Editor’s Choice

Swiss Rail to launch app that lets you pay when you arrive

Swiss Rail plans to test a new smartphone app that will charge you when you arrive. The app will automatically search for the cheapest fare once the journey has ended, promising users the lowest possible fare. The new app, which will be added to Mobile Preview, will be tested in 2018.

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Higher Swiss health premiums for those with big deductables

The Swiss government announced plans to reduce the discounts offered to those willing to risk paying the first chunk of their annual medical bills. It also plans to adjust deductibles in line with shifts in medical costs. This will be discussed until 19 October 2017.

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Property prices fall in Swiss resorts but climb elsewhere, says UBS report

A real estate report by the bank UBS, which looks at 25 top resorts in Switzerland, Austria, France and Italy, shows vacation home price drops across Switzerland. These price falls contrast with price rises in resorts in Austria, France and Italy.

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Swiss government moves a step closer to axing capital withdrawals from pensions

Swiss pensions have three parts. The first is a standard payment based on the number of years you have paid social security taxes (AVS / AHV). The second (2nd pillar) is based on a personal pot of money built up from compulsory salary deductions. And the third is a personal pot derived from optional tax deductible savings, known as a 3rd pillar.

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Switzerland not the most expensive in Europe for some mobile packages

Yesterday, the price comparison website Verivox published a study comparing mobile phone costs across 13 european countries. On most measures Switzerland was the most expensive, and by a wide margin. A plan including 100 minutes of talk and 1 Go (gigaoctet1) of data per month costs an average of CHF 25 per month in Switzerland

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Mortgage reference rate falls opening way for Swiss rent cuts

Every three months the rate of interest used to set Swiss rents is reviewed. If it goes down some renters have the right to request a decrease in rent. This time it dropped 0.25% to 1.50%. The interest rate used to set the reference rate was the average rate on Swiss mortgages at 31 March 2017 of 1.61% which rounds to 1.50% under the rounding rules, which round to the nearest quarter of a percent.

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Swiss healthcare ranked third globally for preventing death

A study of data from 195 countries from 1990 to 2015 published recently in the medical journal The Lancet, ranks Switzerland’s healthcare system third. The analysis looked at mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal in the presence of effective medical care. It considered both healthcare access and quality and was designed with the aim of normalising for local environmental and behavioural risks.

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Big debts at 18 because parents didn’t pay Swiss health insurance bills

A recent article in the newspaper 20 Minutes highlights the nasty surprise some young people experience when their parents fail to pay their health insurance premiums. Turning 18 is one of life’s key milestones. It corresponds with the end of school and entry into a new world. In Switzerland it is also a health insurance milestone.

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Some Swiss cantons overwhelmed with confessions of tax evasion

Ahead of the automatic exchange of bank account information, which comes into effect at the beginning of next year, Swiss residents with undeclared foreign bank accounts are rushing to come clean to the tax authorities, according to Swiss broadcaster RTS.

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Poor not being pushed out of Swiss cities

It is widely believed that as the price of real estate climbs those on low incomes are forced out of city centres. A study by the University of Geneva, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office focused on the period between 2010 and 2014, shows this is not true in Switzerland.

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Swiss employees the best paid in Europe, according to study

According to a recent study, employees in certain roles in Switzerland are paid around 50% more than those second-placed Luxembourg. The premium applies to recent hires, middle managers and qualified professionals, says the study conducted by Willis Tower Watson.

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Swiss have never moved as much as they did in 2015

In Switzerland, more than a million people moved house in 2015, 12.1% of the population. The figure has never be higher, according to a report called Immo-Monitoring published by Wüest Partner. The home moving covered around 490,000 dwellings. Of those who moved, 344,000 stayed in the same commune (Gemeinde) while the other 659,000 changed municipality.

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New 50 Swiss franc note wins international beauty contest

The new 50 franc note, launched last year, was voted the best new bank note in 2016 by the International Bank Note Society, a society founded in 1961. Nearly 120 new banknotes were released worldwide in 2016. The Swiss 50 only narrowly beat the Maldive Islands 1000 Rufiyaa bill, Argentina’s 500 Peso jaguar, and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s 5 Pound first polymer note.

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Fall in Swiss property prices accelerates

Over the year ending 31 March 2017, apartment prices across Switzerland dropped by 6.8%, according to a property price report published by the Zurich-based research and consulting firm Fahrländer Partner FPRE.

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The Swiss municipalities with too many second homes – latest figures

On 11 March 2012, Swiss voted to accept a law restricting the construction of secondary residences, homes that are only used occasionally by owners living somewhere else. Under the law no more than 20% of a municipality’s housing can be second homes. Those with percentages above 20% run into building restrictions.

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Some UN consultants thought their income was tax free. They were wrong.

Some United Nations consultants haven’t paid taxes on their income, thinking it was exempt. When the tax authorities catch up with them they’ll risk paying back taxes and fines. As a general rule, foreign UN functionaries are not required to pay local taxes on their income. On the other hand UN consultants must.

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A fifth of Swiss can’t cope with an unexpected expense of 2,500 francs

In 2015, 21.7% of Switzerland’s population was unable to cover an unexpected expense of CHF 2,500 within a month, says a report from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office. Single parent families were the least able to cope with 46.1% of them falling into this camp. Single parent families were followed by single people under 65 (27.1%) and two-parent families (24.0%).

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Swiss rents 40 percent too high, according to bank’s calculation

According to the bank Raiffeisen, if rents had followed the path prescribed in the Swiss Code of Obligations, they would be much lower. Their figures show that changes in interest rates have not flowed through to renters. If rents had fallen in step with mortgage interest rates they would be 40% lower than they are currently.

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Proposal to remove Swiss home-owner tax rejected

In Switzerland, those who own the home they live in must add imputed rent to their income when calculating their income tax. This means owner-occupiers are taxed for living in their own homes, an odd concept for some who are new to Switzerland.

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Bank drops plan to loosen Swiss mortgage restrictions

The bank Raiffeisen has dropped its attempt to reduce minimum deposit requirements for home loans, according to RTS. Last autumn, it unveiled plans to reduce loan deposit requirements. However, last week, the bank announced that FINMA, Switzerland’s financial regulator, was opposed to the idea.

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