Renovating your garden by making an early withdrawal from your pillar 3a savings

Are you planning renovation work in the garden of the home you own? Would you like to withdraw money from your retirement savings to do so? This article explains how you can use your pillar 3a savings to renovate residential property.

Fed up of looking out the window at a boring garden? Dreaming of sipping lemonade under a cosy pergola or putting on a barbecue for friends and family? If so, we have good news for you! You can use pillar 3a savings to finance your garden renovation. But watch out: not all renovations in your garden qualify for a pillar 3a withdrawal. Let’s take a look at the Meier family, who want to renovate their garden.


Five years ago they bought a lovely house and now they are ready to get their garden into shape. They want to create an outside area containing a conservatory that can be lived in all year round, a retaining wall with drainage, and a small swimming pool. They would also like to do some maintenance work on the existing garden. The total costs of the project come to CHF 60,000. Can the Meiers use their pillar 3a retirement savings to finance their garden renovation? The answer is yes, but only for certain parts of the project. In total, they can use CHF 40,000 of their pillar 3a savings to finance their garden renovation project. The remaining CHF 20,000 will have to come from somewhere else. Let’s go through the individual items on the list:

  1. Conservatory (CHF 16,000): the family can use their pillar 3a savings for this, provided the conservatory is heated or habitable all year round. Withdrawals are not possible for a free-standing pergola or outdoor seating area.
  2. Garden fireplace (CHF 2,000): unfortunately the Meiers cannot use their pillar 3a savings for this.
  3. Retaining wall with drainage (CHF 24,000): as the retaining wall serves to make the property safe, and thus inhabitable, the Meiers can use their pillar 3a savings for this project.
  4. Swimming pool (CHF 15,000): pillar 3a savings cannot be used to finance a swimming pool.
  5. Maintenance work (CHF 3,000): finally, the Meiers are also not allowed to use their pillar 3a savings to finance maintenance work on their existing garden.

In summary, it is possible for home owners to finance a garden renovation with pillar 3a savings. But it is important to know that not all renovation work qualifies for a pillar 3a withdrawal, and the criteria for withdrawal can vary depending on the project and the rules of your 3a pension provider. The final decision lies with the 3a pension provider in question. As a general rule of thumb, pillar 3a savings withdrawals for renovation work on owner-occupied property must primarily serve to make it habitable.


Bank CIC not only offers competitive interest rates and attractive investment opportunities for your pillar 3a savings, it also provides personal advice so that you can make well-informed decisions about your finances. Our experts can help you assess whether you are entitled to withdraw pillar 3a retirement savings and assist you through the whole process. Looking to do major renovation work in a few years’ time? We can also support you in optimising your savings and investments, taking account of your overall financial position and long-term objectives. Talk to our relationship managers to find out how you can make your dream of a renovated home a reality.