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Unclaimed Swiss pensions reach 5.6 billion in 2022

When workers in Switzerland change employers they typically take their salary-based pensions with them. However, if they leave the country without making any pension transfer arrangements, after six months, their pension money ends up with the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution, a kind of backstop holding place for forgotten pensions. © Ginasanders | Dreamstime.comAt the the end of 2022, the organisation held around CHF 5.6 billion of unclaimed money, reported RTS. The names,...

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Switzerland has too many pigs, leading to animal welfare concerns

After slaughtering and freezing 12,000 pigs, Switzerland still has 50,000 more pigs than it can digest, reported RTS. With Swiss pig farms so full, vets are concerned animal welfare may be compromised. Photo by Mark Stebnicki on Pexels.comDuring the Covid pandemic when movements across national borders were restricted, Swiss farmers increased the number of pigs. When restrictions eased and imports returned Switzerland was left with a surplus of animals. The Swiss porc market is...

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Professional training boosts pay by 46% in Switzerland

Switzerland offers workers the possibility of obtaining professional qualifications while working. Around 27,500 people graduate from these federally recognised higher vocational education programmes every year. © Elmirex2009 | Dreamstime.comSix years after graduating from these programmes the median income for a full-time job is about CHF 7,800 per month, compared with the CHF 5,300 received five years before obtaining professional training or a tertiary qualification. This average pay...

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Electricity prices could rise more in 2024, suggests head of Swiss regulator

At a meeting in Bern on 19 January 2023, Werner Luginbühl, the head of Elcom, Switzerland’s electricity regulator, called on the sector to be careful to manage consumer expectations, reported RTS. Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.comAccording to Luginbühl, many consumers are confused by Switzerland’s rising electricity prices. Some think the electricity consumed in Switzerland comes from hydro and nuclear production where production costs have been unaffected. This understanding does...

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Cantons caught short by Swiss National Bank losses

On 9 January 2023, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced it had made a loss of CHF 132 billion over the course of 2022. Despite the near certainty of the losses and the resulting absence of SNB payments to cantons, a number of cantons included the extra revenue in their budgets, reported RTS. © David Taljat | Dreamstime.comThe SNB has made payments to cantons for around a decade and so adding the windfall had become routine. However, some might argue the last decade of SNB profits has...

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Swiss unemployment lowest in 20 years

On 9 January 2023, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) published the latest figures for the Swiss labor market in 2022 showing unemployment at its lowest rate for 20 years. Photo by Anamul Rezwan on Pexels.com2022 saw the development of a labour market increasingly characterised by a shortage of workers and an unemployment rate of 2.1%, said SECO. The unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points from 2.6% in 2021 to its lowest in 20 years. Youth unemployment (15...

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Switzerland’s worker shortage putting pressure on unemployed to change career

By international standards, unemployment payments are generous in Switzerland – typically 70% of salary. But they come with strict requirements for recipients to show they are engaging in actions deemed necessary to find work. With record numbers of unfilled jobs, pressure is now being put on some to change career, reported RTS. Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.comAccording to one report, there are more than 100,000 unfilled jobs in Switzerland. At the same time by the end of December...

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Swiss rents and property prices up in 2022

A sharp rise in rent in December 2022 (+1.1%) left the average Swiss rent 4.3% higher than at the beginning of 2022, according to the Swiss Real Estate Offer Index, published on 4 January 2023 by SMG Swiss Marketplace Group. This annual jump of 4.3% exceeds the annual CPI increase of 2.8% announced this week. © Ocskay Mark | Dreamstime.comIncreases varied significantly by region. The highest rent rise was recorded in Ticino (+8.4%). The jump in Greater Zurich (+6.1%) was also above...

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No money likely from the Swiss central bank in 2023

In good years the Swiss National Bank (SNB) distributes a portion of its profits to a number cantonal tax authorities, boosting their income. However, there will likely be no payments in 2023, reported the newspaper 20 Minutes. © Santiaga | Dreamstime.comWhen the SNB was trying to moderate the rise of the franc it bought large quantities of assets denominated in foreign currencies. In a rising market, these assets gained in value, producing profits. However, more recently, these assets...

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Cantonal and municipal tax burden to fall in 18 of 26 cantons in 2023

The percentage of economic output demanded by the tax authorities, sometimes referred to as the misery index, is set to fall in 18 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons in 2023, according to data published by the government this week. Basel – this years winner – © | Dreamstime.comIn 2023, the misery index will fall most in the cantons of Basel-City (-1.9 percentage points), Schaffhausen (-1.25), Obwalden (-0.75), Jura (-0.6), Solothurn (-0.55), Vaud (-0.55), Geneva (-0.45), Luzern (-0.35), Zurich...

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