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Employee benefits for start-ups

Have you just set up a company as a young entrepreneur? Congratulations! To get to this stage you have already cleared quite a few hurdles. However, with so many complex issues to deal with during the start-up phase, your employee benefits can all too easily be neglected. That's why it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the subject early on.

Interview with Monika Behr, Head of Corporate Client Products at Swiss Life

What are the deciding factors for employee benefits?

The deciding factors depend on the company, its field of activity (sector) and employee structure. The age of the workforce also plays a key role as does the definition of the benefits. The older the insured person, and the higher the salary, the larger the employee benefits contribution.

What does a start-up need to consider when it comes to employee benefits?

The pension system is based on three pillars, which are designed to work together. It is therefore important to know the company's pension requirements, budget and risk appetite. It is also particularly important for start-ups to be aware that early consideration of employee benefits will benefit financial stability in the future.

Do employee benefits hold special risks for start-ups?

No, there are no special risks for start-ups as compared to established companies. For start-ups, calculable costs are often a key issue which is why full insurance is an ideal solution. A full insurance solution covers all risks. A capital guarantee is included and strict legal requirements fully protect the retirement capital, i.e. there is no additional payment obligation.

How much administration and time is required?

The administrative work depends on which BVG solution is selected and how much support the company receives from an advisor or fiduciary. An online solution saves time through its lean and efficient processes. It is often possible today to carry out administration, e.g. salary or address changes, oneself online. These options lead to a substantial reduction in the time and effort required on the part of the company.

Swiss Life has been offering a BVG online solution for start-ups since the beginning of the year. Characterised by very lean and efficient processes, it enables an offer to be created and the contract set up online within the space of a few minutes.

Can savings be made in employee benefits? If yes, how?

Yes, it is possible. It is a good idea to compare different offers before taking out a contract. A choice can be made between various solutions depending on the risk appetite of the start-up. If a "Sorglospaket" ("No worries package") is desired, the full insurance solution is ideal. If the start-up is willing to assume certain risks itself, then there are also the so-called semi-autonomous and autonomous solutions. These solutions are often more cost-effective than a full insurance solution, but in return the investment risk, for example, is borne by the company itself.

Savings can also be made in taxes; purchases of benefits to fill gaps in coverage can be deducted from taxable income. Employers also have the option to allocate their future contributions to a separate account (employer contribution reserves). These reserves are tax deductible up to a specific limit.