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Assurances sociales et prévoyance professionnelle suisses

  • Teacher(s):   S.Arnold  
  • English title: Social Insurance and Occupational Pensions in Switzerland
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2020-2021, 4.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences

[warning] This course syllabus is currently edited by the professor in charge. Please come back in a few days. --- For your information only, here is the old syllabus :


The Swiss social security system and the occupational pension schemes are complex. The employees and employers need to fulfill a number of requirements stipulated in the laws. The lecture will give the students the necessary knowledge and tools to understand and manage the day-to-day challenges related to social security and to the pension schemes.


The lecture will go through several aspects of the Swiss social security system. The students will become familiar with the Swiss Old Age Insurance, the Invalidity Insurance, the Occupational Benefit Plan, the Accident Insurance and the Health Insurance. Several aspects will be analysed:

  • Three pillars system: What is it? What are the State plan and the occupational plan? What complementary insurance exists?
  • The insured : Who is insured? Under which conditions? Do these conditions differ between insurances?
  • The benefits : Which benefits are offered? Under which conditions? How do we compute them?
  • Financial aspects : How is the Swiss system financed? What do we mean by a Pay-As-You-Go system? What do we mean by a Full Funding system? What are the contributions paid to the system?
  • Coordination : How are the different insurances coordinated ? Which insurance covers which benefits?

Part of the lecture will focus on the Swiss occupational pension schemes. In addition to the above mentioned aspects, specific characteristics of the 2nd pillar will be adressed, such as:

  • Strucure of the second pillar: What is a defined contribution plan? A defined benefit plan? What are the mixed systems? What are the advantages and drawbacks of these systems?
  • LPP/BVG minimum: What is it?
  • Vested benefits: When an employee has a new job, what happens to his second pillar savings? What are the rules?
  • Actuarial principles: What are the basic actuarial notions needed to manage professional plans?
  • Technical balance sheet: What is it? What is special about pension funds' bookkeeping? What do we mean by coverage ratio?

The course will focus on the general principles and the understanding of the Swiss system globally. Technical and legal details are not studied in this lecture as the Master in Actuarial Science provides more advanced lectures. Some of the studied topics will be followed by a discussion with the students on current challenges that social security is facing. External speakers will also regularly join the lecture to discuss some specific aspects related to social security.






First attempt

Written 3 hours
Not allowed
Allowed with restrictions

Students will be requested to successfully pass a written exam of 3 hours. Non-programmable calculators allowed (Scientific calculator according to HEC directive for Master programs).

During the semester, the students are given the possibility to prepare a discussion on a real or theoretical reform proposal. A project assessed as satisfactory gives 0.5 points bonus at the final grade.



Written 3 hours
Not allowed
Allowed with restrictions

As the regular session.

[ Scientific calculator according to HEC directive ]

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