“Arena” on retirement age – the struggle of the generations for the AHV – News


Supporters and opponents have discussed whether the AHV proposals show solidarity or are unfair to women. It also remained controversial how bad the social work was.

Women are expressly affected by the AHV reform. Their retirement age is to be gradually increased to 65 years and thus adjusted to that of men. However, the opinions of the voters differ widely on how the decision should be made on September 25th. This was also shown on Friday evening in the “Arena”, where supporters and opponents, young people and pensioners, had their say.

The guests in the “Arena”

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On the pro side:

  • Eveline Widmer-Schlumpfformer Federal Councilor and President Pro Senectute;
  • Matthew Mueller, President Virgins; and
  • Saskia Schenkerdirector of the employers’ association in the Basel region.

The contra side is represented by:

  • Jacqueline BadranNational Councilor SP/ZH;
  • Julia KungCo-President Young Greens;
  • Gabriela MediciDeputy Head of Secretariat of the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions SGB.

Moderator: Sandro Brotz

“If they say yes, everyone pays more, but women receive less,” said SP National Councilor Jacqueline Badran. Half of the people in Switzerland now live on a pension that is less than 3,500 francs a month. “It’s not existential.” The bill would only exacerbate the problem, Badran said. This is because women often work part-time and perform unpaid work such as childcare.

Our grandchildren should also be able to benefit from the AHV.

“In the AHV, women and men are equal today,” emphasized Evelyne Widmer-Schlumpf, President of Pro Senectute Switzerland and former Federal Councilor, and added: “Only not when it comes to retirement age.” For Widmer-Schlumpf, assimilation is an “act of emancipation”. This reform is also needed to maintain solidarity between the generations. Because there are more and more older people and fewer and fewer young people. “Our grandchildren should also be able to benefit from the AHV.”

Opponents demand equal pay

Before the AHV templates were accepted, wage equality should first be introduced, demanded high school student Daria Maurer. “Because women earn less than men, it is more difficult for them to be financially independent in old age.” She’s not worried about the old-age provision, because the AHV is still in the black. First, equality must be ensured in other areas.

Julia Küng, co-president of the Young Greens, said that the AHV is doing better than ever. Because: «It is mainly dependent on the wage bill, which has exploded in recent years. Because we are more productive, receive more wages and more and more women are employed.”

On the contrary, Matthias Müller, President of the Young Liberals, emphasized the urgency of the reform: “We have to save the AHV now.” Without reform, a deficit of CHF 18.5 billion would accumulate by 2032. That’s at the expense of the boys. “The main goal of the reform is to stabilize the AHV for the next ten years,” said Müller. Not a single women’s pension will be reduced, overall it even means more pensions for women. “Working a year longer means more income and thus more contributions to the second pillar, i.e. more interest on the retirement capital.”

Is an increase in VAT fair or anti-social?

The second measure to reorganize old-age provision was also debated in the “Arena”. The AHV reform also provides for an increase in VAT by 0.4 percentage points to 8.1 percent.

Badran is also against the AHV templates. In federal Berne there is a permanent distribution battle for wage percentages. “Instead of giving more to the AHV, you want to reserve it for the BVG.” Because the insurance companies made money from it. On the other hand, 92 percent of the population earned every percentage point of wages that flows into the AHV. “Because they get more from the AHV than they paid in.” That is the great redistribution achievement.

Müller sees it quite differently. VAT is the most sustainable, fairest and most long-term financing option. She demands a contribution from all generations, from the young, but also from the elderly. This means that she is contributing 70 percent to the restructuring of the AHV.

Whether the AHV21 is the right solution for the future remains to be seen. In two weeks, the discussion will continue in the voting “arena”. Then Federal Councilor Alain Berset will face the opponents.

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