Find out before your stay on the various insurances available in Switzerland.
Health insurance and accident insurance, in particular, is mandatory in Switzerland.

Health and accident insurance

All those domiciled/resident in Switzerland must take out health insurance within three months of arriving in the country.
The choice of insurance company is unrestricted.
The bilateral agreements with EU countries specify that all staff who reside abroad, including the members of their family unit, must be insured in the country of residence of their employer. Staff residing abroad may request exemption from the obligation to stipulate an insurance policy covering healthcare costs, and must exercise this right when applying for their first work permit for gainful employment. Should this right not be exercised, they will be affiliated to the Swiss Health Insurance system.

Private public-liability insurance (RC)

Private public-liability insurance is optional but strongly recommended. RC protects the insured party who causes damage to third parties and who is answerable for the relative compensation (e.g., when practicing a sporting activity, as an animal owner, as a tenant, etc.). 

Social Security

Swiss social security policies ensure a decent standard of living, by means of forms of redistribution aimed at alleviating financial inequalities.
The three-pillar system is part of this security, with each pillar representing a different insurance component:

  1. Compulsory State insurance, the first pillar, which includes AVS (old age and survivors’ insurance), AD (unemployment insurance), IPG (loss of earnings compensation insurance, in the event of military/civil service or maternity) and AI (invalidity insurance).
  2. Compulsory professional insurance, the second pillar, which includes LPP (contribution toward maintaining a decent standard of living) and LAINF (insurance against professional and non-professional accidents); these contributions are only for people who are gainfully employed in Switzerland.
    SUPSI staff have insurance covering loss of earnings in the event of illness or accident. For further details, please consult the SUPSI Personnel Regulations, available online.

  3. Optional private insurance, the third pillar, is a form of private savings for old age, aimed at maintaining a decent standard of living.

Tax system

SUPSI staff from abroad, not domiciled in Switzerland, must pay withholding tax, which is deducted from their salary.
Students from countries with which Switzerland has stipulated a fiscal convention against double taxation, similar to the OCSE  “Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital”, and who reside in Switzerland exclusively for study purposes, are not required to pay State taxes during their stay in Switzerland , even if they receive income from their home country.
For information regarding all other circumstances, contact your local tax office.

Family Allowance

Those with children aged between 0 and 16 (from birth until the month in which the child turns 16) are entitled to apply for basic family allowance, which amounts to CHF 200.- per month irrespective of the employment percentage. Allowances are transferred directly by the employer, subject to cantonal authorisation.
Those with children aged between 16 and the age at which studies are completed, up to a maximum of the 25th year, are entitled to receive an education allowance, which amounts to CHF 250.- per month irrespective of the employment percentage.
This allowance is transferred directly by the employer, subject to cantonal authorisation.

Family allowance application forms can be downloaded from:

For further information from SUPSI, please consult: