Social Security for Swiss International Civil Servants

An international career is fascinating. However, working with multilateral organisations in various contractual settings, from your home base or abroad, may generate questions about your social security and that of your family. How can you manage the risks of old age, invalidity, death, illness and accident as well as unemployment?

10 November 2021

At a glance

At the request of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), cinfo mandated Soliswiss (Cooperative of Swiss Abroad) to analyse the social security of Swiss international civil servants working in multilateral organisations, particularly in the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank Group (WBG). This paper summarises the report that was submitted to SDC and SECO in March 2021.

The social security systems of Switzerland, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank Group (WBG) all provide comprehensive social security benefits, in particular for long-term adherence. A majority of current and former Swiss WBG employees expressed overall satisfaction with the benefits provided, Swiss UN staff was somewhat less satisfied. A majority of interviewees argued that, at the time of employment, they did not pay much attention to social security issues, although it became more important to them over time. Soliswiss’ desk review and the interviews show that weaknesses appear for Swiss international civil servants primarily when there is shorter term adherence to a system and when there are gaps between appointments. Additional challenges arise for those who do not have the status of international civil servant, e.g. consultants or United Nations Volunteers.

Social Security multilateral organisations

Mapping your social security when working for a multilateral organisation

Questions regarding your social security? Ask the expert Soliswiss

Upon request of the Swiss government, and mandated by cinfo, Soliswiss (Cooperative of Swiss abroad) conducted the following study on social security of Swiss working in multilateral organisations. They provide expert advice on social security matters to Swiss citizens when emigrating, returning home or working for multilateral organisations (in Switzerland or abroad).