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Created on 02.04.2020

Setting up a company: which social and personal insurance is mandatory?

Are you setting up your own company? If so, there are certain matters that need to be clarified regarding social and personal insurance. Find out here what you need to watch out for when providing cover for your employees and yourself as a business owner.

Company founders must choose adequate social and personal insurance cover for both themselves and their employees – ideally during the foundation stage, and at the latest by the time work begins. How these provisions are arranged depends on both the legal form of the company and the status of the employed person.

  • For employees, and this includes the owners in limited liability companies and private limited companies, the social insurance provisions are determined quite simply by the legislation in place. 

    Mandatory insurance

    The employer is required to register with the compensation fund and to pay the employer and employee contributions of the first pillar (AHV/IV/EO). They are also required to pay unemployment insurance, accident insurance and the occupational pension (2nd pillar).

    Voluntary insurance

    Taking out daily allowance insurance is voluntary but recommended in order to protect the company from the financial consequences of the obligation to continue paying an employee’s salary before statutory benefits begin in the event of disability.

    Useful to know

    Many employers offer their employees insurance coverage which exceeds the statutory minimum and which may play a role in the choice of employment (e.g. daily allowance insurance, accident insurance, retirement benefits).

  • Mandatory insurance

    Self-employed persons who have opted for a sole proprietorship or a partnership (e.g. simple partnership) – in other words, the owners of these firms – are also obliged to pay 1st pillar contributions. They must submit a request for self-employed status with the compensation fund and declare their estimated annual salary.

    Voluntary insurance

    Accident, daily allowance and income insurance as well as retirement provision are voluntary but strongly recommended.

    Useful to know

    Founders can join the employee benefits institution of their sector association, the pension plan foundation BVG or – if they employ staff – their pension fund.

    Protection against the financial consequences of the actuarial risks of illness, accident, disability, age and death comply with the individual needs and circumstances of the person concerned. In the event of a loss of professional income, the financial needs must be clarified precisely and adjusted to the personal circumstances. If the employer is unable to work, for example due to illness or an accident, the accident or daily allowance insurance benefits must cover the normal cost of living and the fixed costs of the company.

    The benefits are always based on the last taxed salary. Salaries insured to too high a level should be avoided due to the higher premiums. If a degree of disability is subsequently established due to an accident or illness, the disability insurance benefits (IV, 1st pillar) and a voluntary income insurance must cover the cost of living of the employer and his family. In most cases, the company is discontinued or sold.

    Important: As mentioned, the founders and owners of a limited liability company or private limited company are deemed to be employees of the company. They must therefore be insured in the same way as other employees. If the business is discontinued or if there is insufficient work, they cannot claim daily benefits from the unemployment insurance.

Overview of social and personal insurance according to the legal form and status of the employed person

Insurance

Sole proprietorship, partnership:

Status:   Owner

Sole proprietorship, partnership:

Status: Employee

GmbH, AG:

Status: Employee

Insurance
1st pillar (AHV, IV, EO)
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
Mandatory
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Mandatory
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Mandatory
Insurance
Unemployment insurance(ALV)
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
Not possible
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Mandatory
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Mandatory
Insurance
Mandatory accident insurance (UVG/SUVA)
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
Voluntary
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Mandatory
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Mandatory
Insurance
Daily allowance insurance
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
 
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Voluntary
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Voluntary
Voluntary
Insurance
Disability/death
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
Voluntary
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Mandatory
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Mandatory
Insurance
2nd pillar (pension fund as per BVG)
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
Voluntary, if possible
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Mandatory
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Mandatory
Insurance
3rd pillar (fixed/flexible private pension plan)
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Owner
Voluntary
Sole proprietorship, partnership: Status: Employee
Voluntary
GmbH, AG: Status: Employee “Owner
Voluntary

Using the vested benefits capital

When starting work as a self-employed person, the new entrepreneur can have the vested benefits credits from the previous pension fund transferred to a vested benefits account. This bears interest until retirement. Alternatively, the credit can be paid out and invested in the new company. This is nevertheless subject to certain conditions – for example it is not possible when setting up a limited liability company or private limited company – and must be checked in detail: considerable financial gaps may occur in old age.

Get going with our startup package

With the startup package from PostFinance, company founders can benefit from free account management with e-finance for two years – and other offers with favourable conditions. 

Source

Publication “ku – Managing small enterprises”, topic: Founding a company, published by: PostFinance Ltd in cooperation with the KMU-HSG at the University of St. Gallen 

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