Small Jobs - what Does that Mean for my Social Security?

Many young mothers no longer want to be fully employed after the birth of their first child. How they ensure that they remain well covered in their social insurances.

I have just become a mother for the first time. I have quit my full-time job. I can't imagine working 80 or 100% for the near future. Rather, I imagine looking for smaller jobs. As a self-employed person or as a part-time employee, it doesn't matter to me.

The main income is contributed by my partner, he is a doctor. We can live well on his salary. Nevertheless, I would like to avoid as far as possible any disadvantages when working in "smaller" jobs. What do I have to watch out for in terms of social insurance?

Martha W.


Somewhat Complicated: Accident Insurance

As long as she receives maternity benefits, Martha is covered by accident insurance. As soon as this changes, however, she has to take care of accident insurance. How she is covered against accidents depends on several factors:

  • If Martha is employed, she is covered for occupational accidents during her employment and for 31 days beyond.
  • Coverage additionally includes non-occupational accidents if Martha works at least 8 hours per week.
  • If Martha is unemployed and registers for unemployment benefits, she is automatically covered for accidents.
  • If Martha works independently or not at all without registering for unemployment, she must arrange her own accident insurance. She can, for example, include accident coverage with her health insurance.

Health Insurance Remains the Same

Health insurance is basically the same for everyone, whether employed, self-employed or unemployed. As a member of Employees Switzerland, Martha can benefit from discounts on supplementary insurance with various health insurance companies.

Extension of the Sickness Benefits Insurance

As a former employee, Martha may have had sickness benefits insurance. She can extend this voluntarily. As a self-employed person, she can also take out voluntary sickness benefits insurance. However, Martha must check whether this is really worthwhile if she only wants to do small jobs.

Ponder Carefully: Register for Unemployment

If Martha reports herself unemployed, this means that she must be prepared to look for and accept a new job. She must think carefully about whether she really wants to do this. If not, she had better not register as unemployed.

It may be worthwhile for Martha's family if her partner improves his insurance coverage in the event of unemployment or disability. In this way, the family avoids the risk of suddenly having an income that is only 80% of Martha's partner's salary.

First Pillar Is Secured

Martha does not have to worry about the first pillar: old-age and survivors' insurance. She receives parental care credits for her child until the child reaches the age of 16. The education credits are treated in the same way as a contribution year.

At most, their relevant average income is reduced. This plays a role in the calculation of the future pension. The education credit has a value of 42,660 francs. Martha could fare better in this case if she marries her partner and remains married to him until retirement.

For small jobs, Martha and her employer can choose to waive the obligation to pay contributions. This is possible if the income is less than 2300 francs per year and employer.

Filling the Second Pillar Is Worthwhile

Martha can contribute to the second pillar, the occupational pension plan, as an employee if she earns a total income of more than CHF 25,095 per year. If this is the case, she must inform her employer about her obligation to contribute.

Martha can also wait and fill her pension gap later. To do this, she buys into a future pension fund. As a rule, the earlier she buys in, the less it costs. Filling the second pillar is worthwhile in any case.

Third Pillar as Additional Protection

Martha can additionally protect herself financially with a third pillar, a private pension plan. This is particularly recommended in her situation, as less money is expected to flow into her first and second pillars.


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