One in seven Swiss pensioners lives in poverty, study says

Elderly women are more likely to fall into the poverty trap in Switzerland. Christof Schuerpf

Every seventh person over the age of 65 in Switzerland does not have enough money make ends meet, according to a study on the financial health of the elderly.

This content was published on October 2, 2022

Some 46,000 Swiss pensioners have already fallen into the poverty trap and a further 295,000 are in danger of joining them, the study reveals. The official poverty line is drawn at CHF2,279 ($2,300) per month to pay for rent, health insurance, clothes and food.

“Every fifth older person in Switzerland is acutely at risk of poverty or already poor,” Alexander Widmer, of the Pro Senectute organisation that champions the rights of the elderly, told the SonntagsZeitung.

Widmer added that the stigma of asking for help in wealthy Switzerland is making the poverty problem worse because some people are ashamed to ask for help.

The elderly finances study was carried out by Pro Senectute with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and the University of Geneva.

It found levels of poverty to be widely diverse according to each canton. But poverty is more prevalent among elderly women, people with a migrant background and in rural areas.

“We expect poverty in old age to increase. We are living longer, part-time work is in vogue, and now prices are rising too,” said Widmer.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Weekly top stories

Keep up to date with the best stories from SWI on a range of topics, straight into your mailbox.


The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.