F.A.Qs

Members

Newcomers

Who can join the Fund?

Only employed members of the CERN personnel (fellow or staff) and employed members of ESO (fellow or staff), in accordance with the CERN/ESO Agreement.

How do I Join the Fund?

As an employed member of the CERN/ESO personnel (fellow or staff), subject to the conditions specified in the CERN/ESO Agreement, you will automatically join the Fund, as membership is compulsory. Your contribution is automatically deducted from your monthly salary.

How is my contribution to the Fund calculated?

As a CERN/ESO staff member or ESO fellow, contributions are based on your monthly CHF reference salary and calculated using the following rates:

   a)    If you joined the Fund on or before 31 December 2011:

      o    Member: 11.33%

      o    Organisation: 22.67%

   b)    If you joined the Fund on or after 1 January 2012:

      o    Member: 12.64%

      o    Organisation: 18.96%

As a CERN fellow, your contributions are based on a fixed reference salary of 6034 CHF and calculated using the rates above.

 

Contributions

How can I calculate my reference salary?

As an employed member of the CERN/ESO personnel, the reference salary is: basic salary for 40 hours per week multiplied by the applicable C factor.

If you are a CERN fellow (junior or senior), the reference salary is: 4529 CHF multiplied by the applicable C factor, which is 1.3322.

Where can I find my C Factor?

How is my contribution to the Fund calculated?

As a CERN/ESO staff member or ESO fellow, contributions are based on your monthly CHF reference salary and calculated using the following rates:

   a)    If you joined the Fund on or before 31 December 2011:

      o    Member: 11.33%

      o    Organisation: 22.67%

   b)    If you joined the Fund on or after 1 January 2012:

      o    Member: 12.64%

      o    Organisation: 18.96%

As a CERN fellow, your contributions are based on a fixed reference salary of 6034 CHF and calculated using the rates above.

 

Where can I find my CHF reference salary?

As a member of the CERN personnel, your reference salary can be found on your payslip under “CONTRIB. PENSION”.

As a member of the ESO personnel, you can calculate your reference salary using the data provided on your payslip under “Pension CERN” (basic salary in CHF x C factor).

Can I increase or decrease my contributions or stop contributing to the Fund?

The contribution rates are defined in the CERN Pension Fund Rules and Regulations. Only in certain cases (such as unpaid special leave, parental leave, part-time work, etc.) will you have the option to suspend or reduce your contributions.

My Benefits

I am working part time. What is the impact on my benefits?

If you decide to continue to contribute at 100%, there is no impact on your benefits.

If you decide to contribute pro rata, your benefits will be reduced accordingly, due to the reduced level of contributions.

I am leaving on unpaid special/parental leave. What is the impact on my benefits?

If you decide to continue to contribute at 100%, there is no impact on your benefits.

If you decide to contribute pro rata, your benefits will be reduced accordingly, due to the reduced level of contributions.

What is the applicable retirement age?

For members who joined the Fund:

  • before 1 January 2012, the official retirement age is 65;
  • on or after 1 January 2012, the official retirement age is 67.

What is the maximum period of membership?

For members who joined the Fund:

  • before 1 January 2012: 35 years;
  • on or after 1 January 2012: 37 years and 10 months.

Can I take my pension before the applicable retirement age and, if so, when? What is the impact on my benefits?

You can ask for an anticipated retirement pension:

  • as from 50 years of age, if you joined the fund before 1 January 2012
  • as from 52 years of age, if you joined the fund on or after 1 January 2012.

A reduction factor is applied to your benefits. 

Do I have to pay taxes on my transfer value?

Pensions and other benefits, such as transfer value, are taxable under conditions defined in the national fiscal legislation which is applicable to the person concerned.

I am affiliated to the CERN life insurance. Can I remain a member when I leave?

Yes, if you become a beneficiary of a retirement or disability pension and as long as you have been affiliated for at least five years before your contract end date.

I would like to increase my benefits. How can I do this?

  • Transfer from another pension scheme: the CERN Pension Fund accepts transfers from worldwide pension schemes. Please contact your previous pension scheme to make sure that the transfer can be made.
  • Own fund purchase: you have the option to buy periods of membership with your own funds. This kind of purchase is calculated according to a rate and based on your reference salary at the time of the request, your age at the time of the request and your age when your membership began. The purchase can be paid for in either a lump sum or instalments (payment in instalments will be subject to interest and must not exceed three years).

My Family Benefits

Do my spouse and children have rights in the event of my death?

Your spouse has the right to a surviving spouse’s pension if your marriage lasts for at least a year (unless you have dependent children, in which case this condition does not apply).

Your children have the right to an orphan’s pension for as long as they are considered as dependent.

In the event of divorce, does my ex-spouse still have rights in the event of my death?

Your ex-spouse has rights after your death only if you were paying maintenance, if she/he is at least 45 years of age and if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years.

Purchase/Transfer from other scheme

Before coming to CERN, I contributed to other pension schemes. Can I transfer my contributions to the CERN Pension Fund?

Yes, the CERN Pension Fund accepts transfers from worldwide pension schemes. Please first contact your previous scheme to ensure that a transfer to the CERN Pension Fund is permitted (some schemes do not allow this).

I would like to increase my benefits. How can I do this?

  • Transfer from another pension scheme: the CERN Pension Fund accepts transfers from worldwide pension schemes. Please contact your previous pension scheme to ensure that a transfer is permitted.
  • Purchase using own funds: you have the option to buy periods of membership with your own funds. This kind of purchase is calculated according to rates defined in chapter III of the Fund’s Regulations, your reference salary at the time of the request, your age at the time of the request and your age when your membership began. The purchase can be paid as either a lump sum or in instalments (payment in instalments will be subject to interest and must not exceed three years).

C-Factor

Where can I find my C Factor?

Where can I find my CHF reference salary?

As a member of the CERN personnel, your reference salary can be found on your payslip under “CONTRIB. PENSION”.

As a member of the ESO personnel, you can calculate your reference salary using the data provided on your payslip under “Pension CERN” (basic salary in CHF x C factor).

How can I calculate my reference salary?

As an employed member of the CERN/ESO personnel, your reference salary is calculated as the basic salary for 40 hours per week multiplied by the applicable C factor.

If you are a CERN fellow (junior or senior), the reference salary is: 4529 CHF multiplied by the applicable C factor, which is 1.3322.

Beneficiaries

Future/New Beneficiaries

When do I receive my statement of declaration of income?

In February each year, you will receive a “Statement of declaration of your income”.

My Benefits

I am entitled to a deferred retirement pension and would like to receive it as an anticipated retirement pension, what should I do?

Please contact the Benefits Service at least three months before the chosen anticipated retirement date.

My family benefits

Health Insurance

Personal Data

Annual Communications

Life Insurance

Can I modify my insured capital and, if so, how?

You can only reduce your capital (30 days notice). Please complete the form and return the original, signed in ink, to the Fund's Benefits Service. 

I would like to change the beneficiaries of my life insurance. How can I do this?

You should complete the form and return the original, signed in ink, to the Fund’s Benefits Service. 

I would like to terminate my membership of the life insurance scheme. How can I do this?

Please send, by post only, a signed resignation letter (giving 30 days’ notice) to the Benefits Service. 

Pension Payment

Can my pension be paid in a country other than Switzerland?

No, benefits are paid monthly in Swiss francs into a personal bank account in Switzerland.

When is my pension paid?

Pensions are paid monthly, in advance, between 6 and 8 of the month.

Do I receive a monthly statement of my benefits?

No, there is no monthly pay notification; however, every January, beneficiaries receive a monthly breakdown valid for the entire year. If the beneficiary’s personal situation changes, an updated monthly breakdown will be sent.

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