If you leave to go and work in a European Union country, you will usually no longer be covered by the Swiss social protection system. In principle, the rules of the new country of activity will apply to your situation. However, an exception is made for posted workers.
If you have resided, worked and/or contributed to a social insurance system in a European Union Member State, your stay, period of employment or your contributions paid in this country may be taken into consideration for entitlement to certain benefits in Switzerland.
The rules in force between the European Union and Switzerland protect social security rights when moving within Europe. They apply to foreign nationals of European Union countries and Switzerland.
Which benefits does this concern?
The rules on the coordination of social security systems in the EU apply to the following benefits:
- Sickness, maternity and paternity benefits
- Old-age pensions
- Invalidity pensions
- Survivors' benefits and death grants
- Unemployment benefits
- Family allowances
- Allowances in case of accidents at work and occupational diseases
- Early retirement benefits
For these benefits, the coordination rules apply directly in all the countries concerned. They must be observed by the authorities, administrations, social security institutions and national courts.
Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine whether or not a specific benefit is covered by the coordination rules. If in doubt, contact your social security institution to find out.
For further information on the subject, refer to the booklet prepared by the old-age and survivors' insurance and invalidity insurance (AVS/AI): Guide: leaving Switzerland and moving to an EU or EFTA member state.
Know your rights
The following links provide additional information about your rights. They are not European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:
- Leaflets of the AVS/AI Information Centre on international matters
- Social insurance: sojourn in Switzerland and departure - information for foreign nationals
European Commission publications:
Who do you need to contact?
Social security institutions
As a first step, contact the social security institution of the country where you are working, living or staying.