Social legislation - Swiss civil servants

Regulations pertaining to international civil servants of Swiss nationality with regard to social insurance, health insurance and income tax

AVS, AI, APG and AC insurance

Regulations pertaining to civil servants

International civil servants of Swiss nationality, to the extent that they are covered by insurance plans through their own organisations, are not required to participate in old age pension and surviving dependants' insurance (AVS), disability insurance (AI), allowance for loss of earnings (APG) or unemployment insurance (AC).

They may, however, chose to be covered by AVS, AI, APG, AC on a voluntary basis, or merely by AC. To do so they must submit a request to this effect to the compensation fund of the canton of residence (see details below) within three months of accepting the insurance coverage offered by their organisations.

They may at any time cancel the entire insurance coverage they have chosen as of the end of the current month. Those insured for AVS, AI, APG, AC may cancel the AVS, AI, APG and maintain only the AC if they so desire. The cancellation is valid for the entire duration of their employment with the organisation in question. Swiss civil servants who fail to meet their obligations (such as non-payment of premiums) within the stipulated time will be excluded, after being warned, from the insurance coverage.

Regulations pertaining to spouses

The spouses of international civil servants of Swiss nationality, whether Swiss or foreign, who are domiciled in Switzerland do not have to be covered by AVS, AI, and APG if they are not gainfully employed at the time the international civil servant accepts the coverage offered by his or her organisation or if a spouse subsequently ceases to be gainfully employed. Spouses may be insured for AVS, AI, and APG on a voluntary basis. To do so they must submit a request to this effect to the compensation fund of the canton of residence (see details below) within three months of the international civil servant’s accepting the insurance coverage offered by his or her organisation, or within three months of ceasing to be gainfully employed.

They may at any time cancel the entire insurance coverage they have chosen as of the end of the current month. The cancellation is valid for the entire duration of the employment of the international civil servant by the organisation in question. Spouses who fail to meet their obligations (such as non-payment of premiums) within the stipulated time will be excluded, after being warned, from the insurance coverage.

Health insurance

International civil servants of Swiss nationality are not required to be covered by Swiss health insurance (to the extent that they are insured by their organisations). For further information, see the Information note on health insurance.

Income tax

International civil servants of Swiss nationality who work for organisations that have their own internal taxation systems are exempt from all Swiss federal, cantonal and local taxes on salaries, fees, remuneration and indemnities paid to them by their organisations.

Capital amounts owing for whatever reasons, be it by a pension fund or an insurance institution, are also exempt in Switzerland at the time of their payment. The same is true for capital payments as indemnities following sickness, accident, etc. On the other hand, neither income from capital received nor annuities and pensions paid to former civil servants benefit from exemption.

Members of personnel of the ICRC


This information note does not apply to the Swiss members of personnel of the ICRC, who are required to be covered by Swiss social insurance and health insurance and who are subject to income tax.

Canton of Geneva 
Compensation Fund Office of the Canton of Geneva
Rue des Gares 12
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Tel. +41 (0)22 327 27 27
Fax +41 (0)22 327 27 10  

Canton of Vaud
Compensation Fund Office of the Canton of Vaud
Rue des Moulins 3
CH-1800 Vevey
Tel. +41 (0)21 964 12 11
Fax +41 (0)21 964 15 38

Specialist Contact

Permanent Mission of Switzerland to UNOG
Office of Privileges & immunities
Rue de Varembé 9-11
P.O. Box 194
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel.: +41 (0)58 482 24 24
Fax: +41 (0)58  482 24 37