How to Open a VIAC Third Pillar in a Few Easy Steps

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How to open a VIAC third pillar in a few easy steps

I recently compared the different third pillars available in Switzerland. I quickly came to the conclusion that VIAC provides the best third pillars in Switzerland. VIAC third pillars are cheap and have a very good 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. In a second time, I am also going to describe 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

VIAC Referral Program
VIAC Referral Program (Source: VIAC)

I would like to start by mentioning the VIAC Referral program. 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 a very interesting referral program. If you refer a friend, your fees on 500 CHF of your administrated will be waived. And your friend also gets 500 CHF of its portfolio managed for free! So if you use a referral code during the registration, 500 CHF of your net worth will be managed for free!

You can refer up to three friends. In the best case, that is 1500 CHF that will be managed for free. And this is for life. The Global 100 portfolio has a TER of 0.53. That means that you will save 7.95 CHF per year. Since I will get my third pillar in 35 years, that means I can save up to 278.25 CHF. That is pretty nice!

In fact, it is even better than that. Let’s not forget that this 7.95 CHF per year will get returns from the stock market since they will stay in your account instead of being lost. If you have 5% returns each year from the stock market, this will save you over 750 CHF over the course of 35 years. That is nothing to laugh at!

Unfortunately, I have no available referral codes left. But you can find more on 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 very easy. And the entire application is available in English, French, German and Italian!

Here are the very simple steps you have to do to register your account.

  1. Download the VIAC application on your phone and install it.
  2. Start the app and push the Register button.
  3. 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 that is easy to write on your phone keyboard. You will only use this password on the phone.
  4. Enter the code that you received on your phone. You will find the code in your messages if you did not see the notification.
  5. Enter your personal information. Make sure that you enter everything correctly. It is very easy to do a mistake on a phone.
  6. Enter whether you pay the AVS (first pillar) and whether you pay the second pillar. Basically, this depends if you are self-employed or not.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 the investing strategy your questions lead to. But you are free to choose the strategy you want.
  9. Then you will need to scan your ID or passport. You can simply take a picture from the application. Very easy!
  10. You can write your signature from your phone to agree to the opening of your portfolio. Once again, they made it very simple!
  11. 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.
  12. That is it! You now have a VIAC account!
  13. You can directly validate your mail. Go to Profile > Settings and you will have an option to validate your email.

And that is it already! You have a third pillar at VIAC now! Welcome to the best third pillar in Switzerland.

In total, it took me less than five minutes to open an account. And this is counting the time to write down the steps for the blog. This is much better than most online services. Even though I do not like phones, this went very well! They did a very good 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 actually 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:

  1. Open the VIAC application on your phone.
  2. Login to the application with your phone number and password.
  3. Go to Deposit (on the bottom bar).
  4. Choose Transfer (button on the bottom).
  5. 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 document for you. Therefore, you only have to fill a few 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 for the mail 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 really fast process. After one week, my money was transferred at VIAC. I was surprised by how fast it was! Once again, I am very satisfied 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 really fast to do that while other banks are really 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). Normally, 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.

Conclusion

I am very pleased with the registration process of VIAC. It is incredibly easy. It is one of the easiest 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 a great start for me.

I received the money quickly. It went really fast. In less than one month, I was able to sell the funds on PostFinance and transfer the money 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?

Author: Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the main author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was spending more and more every year, falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2018, he saved more than 40% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

24 thoughts on “How to Open a VIAC Third Pillar in a Few Easy Steps”

  1. Nice article as usual :)

    The only comment I have is that you may have underestimated the return from the savings you make from the referral program. If you consider the compounding effect and assume an average return of 7% on the equity market, then this gives me a saving of 1099.- over 35 years. This is significantly more than 278.25.-

    My take home message is: don’t neglect the effect of a small amounts! Over a long period a yearly saving of 7.95.- can turn into a huge number over time. This is even more important with ETFs and mutual funds – a small difference in the expense ratio has a huge effect in the long run (as you have nicely described in your earlier articles)

    1. Hi RB,

      You the effect of compounding the savings? The first year you will get 7.95 and then they will get some interest, that is what you mean?
      You are right, I didn’t consider that case. I just added a paragraph mentioning this :)

      Thanks for mentioning it :)

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for your article.

    I just wanted to point out that the referral codes are not available anymore. I tried them and it didn’t work, so I found other ones on MP’s forum.

    Anyway, I have now three new codes if you want to use them:
    UCqBxi
    u1do4u
    JPk12A

  3. Thank you for the clear article, I appreciate it!

    Like others, I now have some lovely referral codes to share:
    97QWs1
    Zezc9L
    NHsDNR

  4. I just signed up today.
    2 of my referral codes for anyone who is interested in signing up.

    My wife took the other one!

    EQnfh3
    dJPFlo

  5. thanks for the great article, I had been with UBS and the TER was almost unbelievable! I have just signed up and used someones referral code from above.

    I was interested in whether you have gone for the Global100 fund or built your own? I had a couple messages with the VIAC team which said while there is the restriction on holding no more than 60% foreign currencies if you built your own portfolio and for example used the MSCI World Index CHF hedged you could get around this limitation.

    1. Hello David

      I am glad you like the article!

      I was with PostFinance and the TER was acceptable, but at that time I had no idea what the TER was!
      Congratulations on moving away from fees!

      For now, I went with the Global 100 Fund. I may switch over to a custom portfolio later on.
      I do not think you can bypass the 40% Swiss shares, no. All the custom portfolios I have seen on VIAC are all having exactly 40% Swiss shares. Since it is the law, I would not really try to mess with it.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by!

  6. Thanks for this article Mr The Poor Swiss! It helps to read some independent info on VIAC before taking the plunge.

    There already seem to be a lot of referral codes on offer (no idea if they are being snapped up?) Anyhow, I just made my first deposit and now have some referral codes to add to the pile in case they are still of use to someone, since it seems to be a win-win:

    VtjCpV
    am0V6h
    fDJpxv

    1. Hi,

      I’m glad you liked it! And I am glad to see that you opened a VIAC account, it’s a good decision!

      Some of them have been snapped up but it’s unlikely that they are being updated.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Great post! VIAC seems to be making waves in the 3a market, I’m currently hearing about it everywhere so had to investigate – yours was the top post I came across. I found a referral code to use here, so came back to say thank you.

    Thanks also for the opportunity to post my codes for myself and others to benefit further – the savings the referral programme offers do add up, over time.

    OEq1RY
    02SVGl
    hkvQ4E

    1. Hi John,

      Yes, it does make some waves. However, only people that seems really interested in their finances (and that’s a small number) seem to know about it. I hope it gets bigger later!

      Cheers

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