Navigating through Pillar 3a and Inheritance Law: Complex Mandatory Shares and Innovations in the Swiss Legal System


Navigating through Pillar 3a and Inheritance Law: Complex Mandatory Shares and Innovations in the Swiss Legal System


The interplay between Pillar 3a and inheritance law harbors some nuances in Switzerland that need to be highlighted. With the recent revision of inheritance law, new legal regulations and new questions arise.

Innovations in Focus

At the beginning of the year, a revision of inheritance law came into force, which also legally clarified the inheritance-related recording of Pillar 3a pension assets. Particularly in focus are articles 476 and 529 of the Civil Code (ZGB). This primarily concerns pension assets with a banking foundation (Bank account 3a, securities solution 3a) and insurance claims of Pillars 3a and 3b when a surrender value exists.

Practical Example

A married couple, managed under the matrimonial property regime of participatory acquisitions and with one child, faces a tricky inheritance situation after the husband's death. It concerns the payout and distribution of assets from the 3a bank accounts that were built up during the marriage. The question arises in particular as to how the pension assets are recorded and divided in terms of inheritance law.

In the case at hand, the man has a 3a bank account worth CHF 200,000, the woman one with CHF 100,000. Upon his death, the payout of CHF 200,000 is made directly to the wife since she is favored according to BVV3, Art 2, Abs. B, No. 1. But how is the woman’s bank account and the child’s inheritance treated?

Mandatory Share and Its Calculation

The child inherits CHF 25,000 according to the example, but the compulsory portion needs to be checked. Here, Art. 529 ZGB comes into play, which provides a compulsory portion protection for the child for pension assets. However, certain variables must be considered in the calculation of the compulsory portion, and it turns out that the compulsory portion of the child is CHF 62,500. The wife would therefore have to pay the child the difference to the amount already paid out.

Conclusion and Open Questions

Although pension assets of Pillar 3a and surrender values from insurance contracts 3a/3b are paid directly to the beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder and are no longer recorded in marital property law, there is compulsory portion protection according to ZGB Art. 529. On the other hand, the pension assets of the surviving spouse are taken into account in the marital property settlement and thus increase the deceased's estate.

However, case law shows that despite extensive consultation with notaries, specialist lawyers for inheritance law, and other specialists, consensus is not always given and legal uncertainties exist. Only future court rulings could probably bring complete clarity to these inheritance-related questions.

Open Dialogue

This blog is for general information and in no way replaces individual legal advice. For specific cases and individual questions, specialized advice is essential. Therefore, we cordially invite you to contact us directly to receive deeper, personalized information and support.

Our Caveo experts are available to navigate you through the complex network of inheritance law and Pillar 3a, identify individual pitfalls, and develop optimal solutions. We offer comprehensive advice and work out strategies together with you that optimally protect your interests and those of your loved ones.

Why Consult Us?

  • Specialized Knowledge: Benefit from our in-depth understanding of Swiss inheritance law and Pillar 3a.
  • Individual Advice: Your personal situation is our focus. We develop tailor-made solutions that meet your needs.
  • Transparent Communication: No jargon with us. We explain complex issues to you in an understandable and transparent way.
  • Confidentiality: We guarantee the highest discretion and protect your personal data and information.

Your financial and familial security is close to our hearts. Make an appointment for a consultation with us today to bring clarity and security to your inheritance and financial matters.

Let's navigate through the complexity of inheritance law together and find solutions that bring security and peace to you and your family.


We are a member of


By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies and to Caveo's Privacy Policy.