Swiss Annuities FAQ

What are the earnings from a Swiss annuity?

Presently, all Swiss annuities earn a guaranteed interest on the capital. While the technical interest rate is guaranteed, it may only be adjusted for new policies.
 

Interest earnings are supplemented annually by any profit-sharing dividends, thus ensuring your annuity certificates earn competitive market rates. The annual dividends depend on the general level of interest rates in Switzerland and on the insurance company’s investment performance. The dividends are adjusted to market interest rates annually, and therefore, are not guaranteed as to performance for the future. Historically, the average annual dividend rate paid out on Swiss franc annuities has been 1% - 5%, depending on the currency selected. Also the favorable currency exchange rates have added a significant capital gain over the past years.

What currency should I choose?

Obviously, it makes sense to choose a currency that provides consistently good growth in comparison to other currencies. The Swiss franc has been stronger than any other currency in the world for most of the past 30 years. However, in the recent short term, the NOK (Norwegian Krone) has shown appreciable gains.

I am an American citizen. Will new FATCA regulations scheduled to come into effect in 2014, impact my ability to invest in Swiss annuities?

 

It is true that the rift between the US tax authorities and Swiss bank secrecy laws has re-shaped the investment opportunities available to American investors.   However, there are still ways in which American citizens can gain the security, stability and confidentiality that a Swiss Solution can provide.  Please refer to our Swiss Gold page for more information.

How do returns compare with other investments?

A Swiss annuity compares very favorably when you look at the new return on other guaranteed investments (i.e., consider the return of other investments after deducting their fees, commissions, annual management charges, withholding taxes and income taxes).

 

Another major advantage is the strong probability of a substantial currency exchange rate gain.

 

Bonds, GIC’s bank term deposits and similar investment vehicles are subject to a Swiss withholding tax, usually 35%. There is no withholding tax in Switzerland on the gain or earnings of a Swiss annuity for non-residents. Therefore, the net return on bonds etc. is less than half of the guaranteed portion of a Swiss annuity.

 

If you are concerned about the difference of only one or two percentage points of return on your investment, then stay with your local bank. But remember, the safety of capital and guaranteed benefits are always more important than a potentially small difference of gain.

What is the best way to move money into and out of Swiss annuities?

Mostly the best way is by using international wire transfers for deposits and premiums into Switzerland.  Cheques can be used, however, that generally leads to delays since the European banks are not used to cheques, and they’re hardly used in Europe anymore. For monies and benefits paid out of Switzerland, clients also use direct wires.

Can I have the life income payments paid into a foreign bank account?

Yes, you can. Funds can be transferred electronically or by cheque. Simply send your instructions in writing to the insurance company’s broker.

 

In regards to payments, it is no problem to have the funds converted to another currency, and wired to your bank.

Who are we? What is the role of the The Swiss Advantage™?

Our role is simply to provide complimentary information to our clients and to any interested investor. Since 1981, we found that Swiss annuities provide many unique advantages not available with Canadian or American plans. Because they are not advertised or marketed here, we identify these important features and recommend them for effective estate and financial planning. We continue to update and recommend the most suitable plans and Swiss brokers for our clients. After the referral, the investor then deals directly with the Swiss, in strict confidence.

Why can't we do business with those Swiss insurance companies already in North America?

You can, but they do not sell the same type of Swiss annuities that we recommend. Also they must operate under the Canadian and US rules and report to their tax departments, government agencies, etc. The investor would lose all The Swiss Advantages™ such as confidentiality, seizure-proofing, no-tax reporting etc. The Swiss life insurance companies we recommend have no offices or any connections whatsoever in North America.

Can I buy an annuity directly from a Swiss insurance company? Would it be cheaper?

It is possible, but would not be any cheaper, advantageous or convenient. For the purpose of language facility and policy service, the Swiss insurance companies prefer you to use an accredited, authorized resident Swiss broker to be your representative.

 

Swiss insurance companies do not engage in rate competition, and instead focus their energies on maintaining their strength. Because the insurance industry is somewhat concentrated, it is, on the whole, stronger, and easier to supervise than the insurance industry in the United States where there are hundreds of companies to regulate.

 

In Switzerland, ultra-conservative investment regulations, issued and enforced by the "Swiss Financial Market and Supervisory Authority" (formerly known as The Swiss Federal Bureau of Private Insurance) regulates the insurance industry in Switzerland. It has the reputation as being a strict regulator.

What role does the consultant / broker play?

For reasons of language, quality of service and safety, the Swiss companies prefer that a Swiss Broker, in Switzerland, serve as your representative, advisor, consultant and servicing agent. It’s mandatory for some companies. Their English speaking staff members are efficient and therefore you can contact them for any questions you may have or charges you wish to make in your existing policy. Their services are free of charge as they are paid by the companies with which you invest. Their commissions and fees are standard and all transactions are strictly regulated by Swiss authorities.

 

We recommend BFI Consulting AG, an independent, registered Swiss financial services company and insurance broker. We found their honesty, integrity, and expertise to be impeccable. They work closely with large banks, insurance companies, money managers, mutual funds, and security/commodities/currency dealers all over Europe. Their registration allows them to provide a broad array of wealth planning and management services from and within Switzerland.

 

They are a registered member of VQF, a vocational organization of Swiss asset managers and financial services institutions, supervised by the Swiss government with the objective of quality assurance according to the highest professional standards and Swiss law. For more information you may contact the VQF by email at info@vqf.ch or by telephone at +4141763 28 20. You will find the VQF website at www.vqf.ch.

 

Our services are free of charge. The premiums you pay and the benefits you receive will be exactly the same regardless of whether you deal with an insurance company directly or take advantage of our services.

 

The information contained and referenced on this website should not be regarded as an offer, solicitation or recommendation for any investments, investment funds or products in any jurisdiction where such activity is unlawful.

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