Maximum contribution to pillar 3 in 2024: how much can you pay in?

Voluntary 3a retirement savings are a key part of the Swiss pension system. They allow us to maintain our accustomed standard of living and keep up quality of life in our old age. But who actually determines how much we can pay in to pillar 3 every year? This post looks at how the annual maximum contribution is calculated, how often it changes and when it’s the best time to contribute.

How is the maximum contribution calculated?


The maximum contribution that can be paid in to pillar 3 depends on the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Act (OASI) and the Occupational Pensions Act (OPA). It’s set every October by the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) and normally changes every two years, when the Federal Council approves a change to the OASI and OPA pensions. 

What is the maximum contribution for 2024?


Employees with a pension fund can pay 8% of the OPA maximum into pillar 3a. The maximum contribution for self-employed people without a pension fund is 40% of the OPA maximum. The OPA maximum in 2024 is CHF 88,200.


Maximum contribution for pillar 3a in 2024:


•    CHF 7,056 for employees with a pension fund (8% of CHF 88,200)
•    20% of net income, up to CHF 35,280, for employees without a pension fund (40% of CHF 88,200)

When should I pay in?


The optimal time to pay in to your pillar 3 depends on how you have arranged it:


With a 3a retirement savings account


If you use your pillar 3 in the form of a 3a retirement savings account, we recommend paying in at the start of the year, so you profit for as long as possible from the interest rate we pay, which is one of the best interest rates in Switzerland. If you don’t pay in until the end of the year you earn less interest, which over the long term has an impact on the compounding effect.


•    Starting amount: CHF 0
•    Frequency of contributions: annual
•    Amount of contribution: CHF 7,000
•    Term: 20 years
•    Interest rate: 1.40%


1.    Final amount when contributions are made at the end of the year: CHF 160,281 
2.    Final amount when contributions are made at the start of the year: CHF 162,525 


Difference: CHF 2,244 (CHF 112 per year)

With 3a retirement funds


If you invest your pillar 3 in retirement funds, the best thing to do is set up a standing order that automatically invests contributions to the 3a retirement savings account in retirement funds. 


To get the maximum benefit from our retirement saving solutions we recommend setting up a standing order for a fixed amount and making the payment to your 3a retirement savings account at the start of the year. That way, first you benefit from one of the best interest rates in Switzerland on the uninvested capital. At the same time, the standing order automatically invests a fixed sum chosen by you out of your 3a retirement savings account in your retirement funds. By investing in the funds in stages you also benefit from cost averaging, which increases your chances of buying when prices are low, potentially adding a further boost to your return over the long term.


Alternatively, you can set up a standing order for a variable amount. That way, every contribution you pay in to your 3a retirement savings account will automatically be invested in your chosen retirement fund. In order for the fund investments to take place in stages, with a standing order for a variable amount we recommend making the contributions in stages throughout the year too (e.g. CHF 588 per month for 2024). You can set up and manage a standing order in your CIC eLounge.


It doesn’t matter if it’s an account, a fund or a combination of the two – they’re all possible with 3a retirement savings from Bank CIC. Which solution best suits you depends largely on how long your savings are going to remain invested.


•    A 3a retirement savings account is suitable if you are planning to withdraw the balance in the next four years. 


•    For longer-term savings goals, putting your savings in a 3a retirement fund is an attractive alternative. The basic investment principle is: the longer you can leave your money invested, the higher your prospects of return. 


The Bank CIC retirement funds universe consists of funds from various providers chosen by the bank to reflect a range of quality criteria. We pay particular attention to value for money, sustainability and the diversity of the offering, so we can give you the best possible choice of funds.


Do you have any questions? Contact our advisory team for an initial non-binding consultation.


Please also note our six tips on pillar 3a.