(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)
2021 Update: I have now switched to Finpension 3a, you can read my review for more info. But VIAC remains a good option and this article will still help you to create your account.
I recently compared the different third pillars available in Switzerland. I quickly concluded that VIAC provides a great third pillar in Switzerland. VIAC’s third pillars are cheap and have excellent global diversification. Moreover, you can have up to 97% of your portfolio invested in stocks.
Before, my only problem with VIAC was that they are mobile-only. But I need to go over this small problem and be smarter about it! And since PostFinance increased their fees, I decided to walk away from them earlier than I planned.
Now that I have chosen my new third pillar, it is time to do the transfer. For this, I first have to open an account at VIAC. Then, I have to transfer my existing third pillar money from PostFinance to VIAC. In this post, I am going to describe the steps necessary to open a VIAC third pillar. Then, I am also going to explain how to transfer an existing third pillar to VIAC.
As you will see, it is incredibly easy. If you think it is difficult to open a new third pillar and transfer your existing third pillar money on it, then I hope I will convince you that it is trivial! You should not delay changing a bad third pillar for a good one by the fear that it is difficult because it is not!
VIAC Referral program
I would like to start by mentioning the VIAC Referral program. I am doing that because it can help you save some money! And you need the code during the registration itself. If you are not interested, just skip to the next section. But who would not want some more savings!
It is interesting to note that VIAC offers an interesting referral program. If you use a code, 500 CHF of your portfolio will be managed for free.
Then, you can refer up to five friends. If you refer 5 friends and use a code for yourself, you will get 5500 CHF managed for free.
The Global 100 portfolio has a TER of 0.45%. That means that you will save 24.75 CHF per year. Since I will get my third pillar in 35 years, that means I can save up to 866.25 CHF. It is not too bad just to share a few codes.
I do not have any codes left, but you can find some more codes in the comments below.
Open a VIAC third pillar
The first thing to do is obviously to create a new account at VIAC. This account will allow you to manage your third pillar. At VIAC, everything is done on your mobile phone. So you only need your smartphone and internet access to create an account. And it is straightforward. And the entire application is available in English, French, German, and Italian!
Here are the straightforward steps you have to do to register your account.
- Download the VIAC application on your phone and install it.
- Start the app and push the Register button.
- Enter your phone number and choose a strong password. Your phone number will be your login for your account. Be sure to remember your password. Ideally, you want something easy to write on your phone keyboard. You will only use this password on the phone.
- Enter the code that you received on your phone. You will find the code in your messages if you did not see the notification.
- Enter your personal information. Make sure that you enter everything correctly. It is easy to make a mistake on the phone.
- Enter whether you pay the AVS (first pillar) and whether you pay the second pillar. This step depends if you are self-employed or not.
- You need to answer a lot of questions about your investor profile. From these questions, VIAC will recommend an investing strategy (basically a portfolio) for you.
- Then you can choose your strategy: I recommend Global 100 if you have a long-term perspective like me. VIAC will recommend something to you based on your answers. But you are free to choose the strategy you want.
- Then you will need to scan your ID or passport. You can simply take a picture using the application.
- You can write your signature from your phone to agree to the opening of your portfolio. Once again, VIAC made it very simple!
- If you have a Referral code, you can enter one now. You can take a look at the previous section to have more details on what it means.
- That is it! You now have a VIAC account!
- You can directly validate your mail. Go to Profile > Settings, and you will have an option to confirm your email.
And that is it already! You have a great third pillar with VIAC now!
In total, it took me less than ten minutes to open an account. And this is counting the time to write down the steps for the blog. This registration is much better than most online services. Even though I do not like phones, this went very well! They did an excellent job of simplifying the process to the maximum.
Transfer your third pillar
If you already have a third pillar account in another bank, you will want to transfer that money from your previous provider to VIAC. Thanks for VIAC, this is extremely simple!
First of all, if your third pillar money is into retirement funds in your current third pillar provider, you will need to sell the funds. You can only transfer cash. That means you may lose on the market (or gain on the market) during the transfer. It is quite possible that you are out of the market for one month or so during the transfer of your funds.
First, you need to get the transfer form document. For this, you can request it from VIAC:
- Open the VIAC application on your phone.
- Log in to the application with your phone number and password.
- Go to Deposit (on the bottom bar).
- Choose transfer (button on the bottom).
- Click “Send Form by Email”
Open your email account and print the PDF that VIAC just sent to you. VIAC already prefilled most of the documents for you. Therefore, you only have to fill a few pieces of information. You need to set the information about your current third pillar provider. In my case, it was PostFinance. You also need to fill the account number of your third pillar. You should be able to find this information in your e-banking or on your yearly third pillar statement.
Finally, you have to date and sign the document. You can now send the document to VIAC by mail, and they will take care of everything for you. The address is on the document. VIAC will forward the document to your current third pillar provider. And everything will follow from this.
I sent the document by mail two weeks ago. After two days, VIAC already answered me that they transferred the necessary documents to PostFinance. After this, PostFinance needed to do the transfer of the money to VIAC. It was a swift process. After one week, my money was transferred at VIAC. I was surprised by how fast it was! Once again, I am delighted with the process.
I do not know how long it will take other banks to make the transfer. However, I know that some banks are fast to do that while other banks are slow at doing it. Fortunately, PostFinance turned out to be one of the fast ones.
After I receive the money in my VIAC account, the cash will be transferred to my portfolio at the next rebalance date (tomorrow normally). Usually, a rebalance is occurring at VIAC every first day of the month. On that day, the money is allocated according to your portfolio. Before, it is only cash. I will keep you updated once my money is transferred to my portfolio.
I am happy with the registration process of VIAC. It is incredibly easy. It is one of the most uncomplicated registration I have done in Switzerland for quite some time. For comparison, doing the registration of my new private bank account at Migros Bank was much more difficult. With VIAC, everything is simple. They are off with an excellent start for me.
I received the money quickly. It went fast. In less than one month, I was able to sell the funds on PostFinance and transfer the funds to VIAC. And then, it was invested in my portfolio at the beginning of the next month.
To learn more about VIAC, read my Interview of Daniel Peter, the CEO of VIAC.
What about you? Which third pillar do you have? What do you think of VIAC?