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When can you withdraw pension fund assets early and how do you go about doing it?

The journey into self-employment is often not an easy one, and the question quickly arises whether you can make an early withdrawal of pension fund assets. This article tells you what the requirements and hurdles are.

When can I withdraw my pension fund assets?

  • You can only withdraw assets early if it is not compulsory for the person forming the company to join an occupational pension scheme. As a rule, this applies to persons with sole proprietorships and general partnerships.

  • Your self-employed status has to be recognised by the cantonal compensation office (Ausgleichskasse). This requires you to have several customers of your own, to work for your own account, to be independent of ties and to assume the business risk. You will need supporting documents to prove this (see procedure described in the following).

What’s the best way to proceed?

  • The first step is to form a sole proprietorship with Foundera and have it entered in the commercial register.

  • We will take care of registration with the compensation office for you if you have the necessary supporting documents (initial customers, marketing materials, etc.). If you are not yet that far along, we will complete the registration for you within a year.

  • The final step is to apply to your pension fund to receive the lump sum. Depending on the pension fund, they may require you to provide additional documents. You have to file this application within one year of becoming self-employed.

Can I also withdraw my pension fund assets when forming a GmbH or AG?

No, that’s not possible since you are legally considered an employee of a corporate entity, regardless of whether or not you are the sole founder.

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