Zurich and the Vita Joint Foundations taking steps to assist customers

Zurich and the Vita Joint Foundations taking steps to assist customers

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The corona virus is hindering business activity in a way that is posing huge problems for many Swiss SMEs, with demand plummeting, suppliers failing and direct meetings with customers prohibited. In the worst cases, business operations are subject to complete cessation. At the same time, there are often still fixed costs that have to be covered, such as rent, salaries and baseline energy consumption.

In this extremely challenging situation, Zurich and the Vita Joint Foundations are working to assist customers in decision-making regarding the new laws and regulations on employers' contribution reserves and the suspension of debt collection/debt enforcement holidays.

We grant our customers flexibility in making payments

Savings contributions for the Vita Joint Foundations will only be due on December 31 of the current year, as we are already giving customers additional time to make the payments. The premium contribution amounts for the risk insurance element are due on January 1. As an immediate measure during the corona crisis, Zurich and the Vita Joint Foundations decided not to retroactively charge clients any debit interests for outstanding pension fund premiums from January 1 to June 30, 2020. From July 1, 2020, a sustainably reduced debit interest rate of 2.5% will apply (compared to 4 – 5% in the previous year).

Dunning processes already ongoing will continue for outstanding contributions which were payable by or before December 31, 2019, for which reminders were already issued in February or March. This is because these contributions were already deducted from employee pay in 2019. Accordingly, we are obligated to collect these amounts to fund the entitlements of the insureds, in compliance with laws and contractual provisions.

We are offering generous options to customers experiencing liquidity problems who are unable to pay contributions due from the previous year, for which reminders have been issued, in the form of payment deferrals and installment plans. Customers are invited to inquire about such possibilities by phone at +41 44 628 72 87 or by email to inkasso.bvg@zurich.ch. Additionally, we will be temporarily waiving administrative fees on payment installment plans through the date June 30, 2020.

Utilization of contribution reserves:

The Federal Council decided to renew its time-limited ordinance of March at its meeting on November 11, 2020: Consequently, from November 12, 2020 to December 31, 2021 employer contribution reserves may also be used for the employee contributions. All that is required is an email from the employer with the withdrawal instruction stating the amount. The affiliation contract and/or retirement provision regulation/pension plan document do not have to be amended. Contributions will still be deducted from employee pay. Customers can submit corresponding requests to their customer service administrator or customer advisor.

All of these measures are aimed at a single goal: assisting our customers and giving them necessary leeway to get through the crisis at hand. And we will get through it – by acting together.