Reform of the law on mandatory accident insurance under the Swiss Federal Law on Accident Insurance: key elements
The Reform of the Swiss Federal Law on Accident Insurance (LAA; RS 832.20) was adopted by both Chambers in the final vote on 25 September 2015. The purpose of these new developments and adjustments is to simplify and improve the application of the law on accident insurance. The entry into force of this reform will become effective on 1 January 2017.
Key elements of the reform
Start and end of cover
An employee is insured as soon as the employment relationship begins, even if the first of the month falls on a Sunday, for example (Art. 3 para. 1). The insurance cover expires on the 31st, rather than the 30th, day that follows the end of the employment relationship (Art. 3 para. 2).
This type of insurance may be purchased for six months rather than 180 days (Art. 3 para. 3).
Beginning at 10%, a disability due to an accident gives rise to the right to a disability pension for life. This principle, however, no longer applies to accidents occurring at regular retirement age so as to avoid overcompensation due to the payment of accident insurance at AVS (Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance) age (Art. 18 para. 1).
The right to terminate the contract has been introduced in the event the insurer raises administrative fees or the net premium rate. This right may be exercised within 30 days following receipt of the notice of increase.
Reduced pension at retirement age
Art. 22 para. 2 ter LAA has introduced reduced disability pensions, which, in accident insurance, are paid for life when the insured reaches regular retirement age.
The additional premium intended to finance cost-of-living allowances was reduced last 1 January 2014. The latest financial developments enable LAA insurers to further reduce it from 5% to 2% on 1 January 2017.
Compensation for complete injury
Art. 24 para. 2 LAA as amended grants the Swiss Federal Council the authority to determine, in special cases, particularly in cases of damage to health due to the inhalation of asbestos fibres, a different time for the entitlement to benefits. As such, for the insured who suffers from an occupational disease linked to asbestos, the entitlement to benefits is triggered at the time of diagnosis.
Coordinating provisions for occupational pensions
To prevent pension reductions in accident insurance from resulting in additional compensatory benefits in occupational pension schemes, appropriate coordinating provisions have been introduced to the Ordinance on Occupational Retirement, Survivors’ and Disability Pensions (OPP 2; RS 831.441.1).
Accident insurance for the unemployed
Several provisions of the ordinance on accident insurance for the unemployed (RS 837.171) have been moved to the LAA. The ordinance on accident insurance for the unemployed will therefore be repealed.
If you have questions regarding this reform, Swiss Risk & Care advisers are here to help.