9 – Leaving ETH

Leaving ETH (or even Switzerland) obviously has some implications that you should be aware of. You will be asked to return your keys and similar things. For the period after the end of your contract, you should make arrangements for your insurances. In general, for questions concerning insurance, you can consult your contact person or the Personalchef/in in the Human Resources Department responsible for the department to which your research institute belongs.
For any further information, please contact Human Resources and the administrators who are in charge of your department. More info are available here.

Insurance Matters

Non-professional Accident Insurance (Abredeversicherung)

With an employment in Switzerland, your contributions to the Professional Accident Insurance (Berufsunfallversicherung) and to the Non-professional Accident Insurance (Nichtberufsunfallversicherung, NBUV) are paid automatically. Without employment, they are not. Thus, for the case that you do not directly have a new employment but plan to stay in Switzerland, you might want to keep the Non-professional Accident Insurance (Nichtberufsunfallversicherung). For that, you can include it into your private health insurance. Alternatively, you can arrange for this insurance through the Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, SUVA) with the Abredeversicherung. With the Abredeversicherung, you can prolong the SUVA-insurance you had at ETH with the same benefits. It costs CHF 45 a month and it can be extended for a maximum of 6 months. You are still insured by ETH Zurich for the first 30 days after your last paid working day, so you can start the Abredeversicherung after these 30 days (and save the fee for this period). After the maximum duration of six months, you will have to include your non-professional accident insurance with your private health insurance for the case that you have not started a new job already. You can get the forms for the non-professional accident insurance and further information from the Human Resources Department.

Pension Fund

If you no longer have an employment at ETH, your contributions to the Federal Pension Fund PUBLICA will end. Without employment at a public institution in Switzerland, you cannot contribute towards the federal pension fund anymore, but you will have to arrange the transfer of your money to the pension fund of your new employer. For the case that you do not start a new position within a certain timeframe or for the case that you leave Switzerland, you have to arrange the transfer of your money to a vested benefits account (Freizügigkeitskonto). Early pay out of your pension fund money is usually only possible in combination with property purchase or when becoming self-employed. You can find plenty information on that issue on the internet.


As there is only one AHV, things are a little simpler. Your contribution towards the AHV is directly deducted from your salary, independent of your new employer. The same applies if you receive unemployment benefits after leaving ETH. Early pay out of the money you have paid towards the AHV is only possible if your country of origin has no agreement on social security with Switzerland (which excludes for example EU and US citizens).


Unemployment Insurance

(Arbeitslosenversicherung, ALV). If you do not have a new job directly after your engagement with ETH, you are entitled to apply for unemployment benefits. To register, you will need to go to the Regional Employment Center (RAV) of the place where you are registered as resident.
Unemployment benefits can be applied for by anyone who has paid into the insurance fund. Only if you are paid by some special funds and are tax examined you have no claim. You should contact the RAV in your region at least 3 month before your contract runs out and ask for guidance. You might have to present 12 attempts to find a job each of the last three month of employment to receive full benefits.

The basis for your unemployment benefits is the gross salary (Bruttolohn) of the previous 12 working months (periods when you did not earn any money, such as unpaid vacations, are not considered).


Leaving Switzerland

Notify your Residents’ Registration Office or District Office of your departure personally and in good time. You can do this up to 30 days in advance. Remember to ask for confirmation of your deregistration, as you will need this for various administrative matters.


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