VIAC Review 2022 – Excellent third pillar in Switzerland

By Baptiste Wicht | Updated: | Investing, Retirement, Switzerland

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

There are many third pillar providers in Switzerland. Some of them are good, but most of them are too expensive. You do not want to waste your retirement bank on fees. Therefore, you need to choose the best third pillar provider.

In 2018, VIAC started on the market of third pillars. VIAC is the first mobile third pillar. And they are really interesting! VIAC has very low fees and lets you invest up to 97% exposure in stocks. It is significantly better than what I have found before in other third-pillar providers.

In this article, I do an in-depth review of VIAC! Among other things, we will look at the investing strategies and the fees of this service.



VIAC is a recent actor in the third pillar area. It was launched in 2018. And it is becoming more and more popular.

It is quite new compared to other big banks. It is important to mention that VIAC is not a bank. The money that you have invested with them is stored in the WIR bank. As such, you will have full protection up to 100’000 CHF like the other banks. This protection is very important. Without that, I would not consider this provider at all. You want your money to have maximum protection.

VIAC is quite different from the other providers. You will only have access through a mobile application or web application. They do not have offices where you can do operations with them. This absence of bank offices is what makes them offer very low fees.

They started with only a mobile application. But since then, VIAC added support for a web application. The web application is great for people like me who are not fond of mobile phones. And most people will probably like the mobile application since people are fond of phones these days.

To learn more about VIAC, you can read my Interview of Daniel Peter, CEO of VIAC.

So, let’s see how good VIAC is as a third pillar in Switzerland.

Investing Strategies

For long-term investors, the investing strategy of a third pillar is extremely important.

VIAC offers three sets of strategies:

  1. Global – Investing in the entire world.
  2. Switzerland – Investing in Switzerland
  3. Global Sustainable – Investing in the whole world but omits some stocks such as nuclear, tobacco, or weapons stocks. This is called sustainable investing.

For each of these strategies, they have five variants: 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100. These variants are specifying the allocation to stocks.

You can also define your strategy by composing it with the different underlying funds that they are using. This is a great way for you to choose exactly what you want to invest in. But then, you need to have a good idea of how to create a custom portfolio. I would not recommend this to a starter investor.

The fact that we can go up to 100% invested is really great! For a long-term aggressive investor, this is ideal. It is actually investing only 97% since they keep 3% in cash in each portfolio. But 97% is already a great amount invested in stocks.

They do not use bonds since Swiss bonds have a negative yield. Swiss cash is currently much better than Swiss bonds. So, if you use a strategy with a lower amount of stocks, cash will be used instead of bonds. Also, you will not pay fees on the cash part, it will even give you a tiny interest rate.

You can also have several portfolios, up to five. This is great if you want to optimize taxes by doing staggered withdrawals.

VIAC Global 100 Fund

VIAC Mobile Application
VIAC Mobile Application

The most interesting strategy is the VIAC Global 100 strategy. This is what I chose for my VIAC account.

This fund invests 97% in stocks. Out of these stocks, 40% are Swiss stocks. Because of regulations, each portfolio is limited to 60% in foreign currency exposure. This is not a limitation on Swiss stocks since you could use CHF-hedged funds to get more foreign exposure while keeping under the limit. But the default portfolio uses Swiss Stocks for 40%. The rest is invested in the entire world based on market-cap weight. The remaining 3% is allocated to cash.

The TER of this strategy is o.45%. And there are no other fees! This makes it a very cheap solution for Switzerland!

Here is the allocation by region of the Global 100 fund:

VIAC Global 100 Region Allocation
VIAC Global 100 Region Allocation (Source: VIAC)

And there is the exact allocation of each sub-fund (as of September 2018):

  • SMI (Swiss): 27.75%
  • SPI Extra (Swiss): 9.25%
  • Europe ex-CH: 10.60%
  • S&P 500: 31.51%
  • Canada: 1.93%
  • Pacific ex-Japan: 2.54%
  • Japan: 4.46%
  • Emerging Markets: 8.96
  • Cash: 3.00%

This offer is great. It is better than most other candidates:

  • The allocation to stocks is high
  • The allocation to international stocks is the maximum permitted by their regulations.

In the long-term, this nice allocation to stocks and the relatively low fees will result in significantly more returns.


When you are investing for the long term, it is important to look at the fees.

The base fee of VIAC is 0.52% per year. But you only pay this fee on the invested part (the stocks). So, if you have more cash, you get fewer fees.

In 2021, VIAC introduced a fee cap on its strategies. So, you cannot end up with more than a 0.44% fee. If your strategy has a higher fee, it is reduced to 0.44%.

Some external funds have higher fees, so you may incur higher fees than only the VIAC administration fee.

The fees at VIAC are different for each universe and strategy. For instance, here are the fees for the global strategies:

  • Global 20: 0.17% per year
  • Global 40: 0.28% per year
  • Global 60: 0.40% per year
  • Global 80: 0.44% per year
  • Global 100: 0.44% per year

Fees for Switzerland strategies are slightly higher:

  • Switzerland 20: 0.17% per year
  • Switzerland 40: 0.28% per year
  • Switzerland 60: 0.39% per year
  • Switzerland 80: 0.46% per year
  • Switzerland 100: 0.47% per year

And the sustainable strategies are the most expensive:

  • Global Sustainable 20: 0.18% per year
  • Global Sustainable 40: 0.230% per year
  • Global Sustainable 60: 0.42% per year
  • Global Sustainable 80: 0.52% per year
  • Global Sustainable 100: 0.53% per year

Overall, these are excellent fees! Compared to most offers in Switzerland, this is better!

Life and disability insurance

VIAC has something special that differentiates them from other third pillar providers.

Indeed, with VIAC, you can get either life insurance or disability insurance. With each 10’000 CHF invested in your account (only the invested part counts), you get 2’500 CHF insurance.

You have to choose in your account whether you want disability (in case of at least 70% disability) insurance or life insurance. In the case of life insurance, this will be paid to your beneficiaries with the money of your third pillar. And in case of disability, you will get the insurance payment directly yourself.

I think it is a nice bonus, but this is not life-changing. This will only be useful if you die or get disabled (and you have to choose) before your retirement age. And the amount is still quite limited, so for many people, this will not replace proper life or disability insurance. But this could still be very useful. And since it is free, it is obviously not a bad deal for VIAC users.


We can also look at the security of the VIAC third pillar.

The technical security of the applications (both web and mobile) are pretty good. All the communications are encrypted between the application and the server. And since you cannot do anything with your third pillar until you retire (or in a few other special cases), the apps are well protected.

The only thing I would like is a proper second factor of authentication on the web application. But again, since you cannot do much, it is not that important.

If you hold cash, it will be held by WIR bank, the custodian bank of VIAC. This will be privileged in case of bankruptcy up to 100’000 CHF. This protection is the same as the bankruptcy protection of other Swiss banks. If you are an aggressive investor, this should not matter much since you should have very little cash.

The securities themselves are invested in institutional funds. These funds are very stable and are held in your name. The funds are not on the balance sheet of VIAC directly but on the balance sheet of the foundation. So, if VIAC goes bankrupt, these funds are safe in the foundation. It will be up to the foundation to find a new manager for these funds and to get you access to this money again.

Finally, I have never heard of any data leak that would have occurred at VIAC. This is always a good sign, even for recent companies.

Overall, I think that the security of VIAC is quite good and well regulated. The applications are well done, and the foundation is organized so that your assets are well-protected.


In Switzerland, there are many alternatives.

Compared to third pillar accounts from banks, VIAC is a great third pillar, much better than anything a bank proposes.

Best Third Pillar!
Finpension 3a
  • Invest 99% in stocks

However, compared to other independent third pillar providers, VIAC is not the best available. Finpension 3a is currently the best third pillar available. Finpension 3a has several advantages over VIAC:

  • You can invest more in actions
  • The fees are slightly lower
  • You have more freedom in designing your portfolio

However, Finpension 3a has one disadvantage over VIAC. Indeed, if you do not invest fully in stocks, Finpension 3a will be slightly more expensive than VIAC. So, Finpension 3a is the best for aggressive investors, while VIAC is the best for conservative investors.

If you want to learn more about this excellent alternative to VIAC, you can read my review of Finpension 3a.


Let’s summarize the pros of VIAC:

  • You can allocate up to 97% in Stocks
  • Very low fees
  • VIAC is very transparent
  • A small interest rate on the cash part
  • Strategies with low allocation to stocks are cheaper
  • Mobile and web applications


Let’s summarize the cons of VIAC:

  • You need a minimum of 40% in Swiss Francs (CHF)
  • You need to keep 3% in cash
  • Not the cheapest third pillar


The conclusion is pretty simple! VIAC is an excellent third pillar provider in Switzerland. The fees are very low, and they offer a high allocation to stocks. This is great for long-term investors. And since most third pillar investors are in for the long-term, this is excellent.

There is something else I like about VIAC. It is their transparency. They communicate well, and they share as much information as possible. VIAC is the best third pillar provider for the information they share. The information is also very clean and modern. They do not try to hide fees. And they have been quite helpful in answering my questions for this article.

When VIAC was introduced, they were the best third pillar available. Now, there have been other competitors. If you want to keep up to date, I have an article about the best third pillars in Switzerland. I currently moved my third pillar to Finpension 3a, but both are great options.

Which third pillar do you use? What do you think of VIAC?

Baptiste Wicht is the author behind In 2017, he realized that he was 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 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

80 thoughts on “VIAC Review 2022 – Excellent third pillar in Switzerland”

  1. Here’s some working (as of 9th September 2022) codes for VIAC to save on fees:

  2. Hey Mr. TPS,

    I’ve been following your blog for the last year, terrific work you are doing out there :)

    A couple of weeks ago VIAC mentioned that they will now move to a weekly rebalancing. I have 5 portfolios with equally split amounts as standing orders. What do you think from a risk management perspective: does it make sense to further split those recurring payments from a monthly base to a weekly one in order to benefit from market fluctuations even more?

    Thank you for your time and keep up the amazing work!

    1. Hi Filip,

      For me, the weekly rebalancing is good but not a game-changer. The main advantage is that your money gets invested faster when you send money to your account, at most one week instead of at most one month. So, your money is in the market longer.
      But I would not recommend weekly investing, no. It’s just too much trouble. Invest money when you have it and it will be fine :) I invest money once a month, just after my salary and I don’t do anything else for my investments for the entire month. And for my 3a, I actually max it in January as soon as possible.
      Now, if you get paid once a week, it could be interesting, but I do not even think this would be worth the trouble.

  3. Thanks for the great review! I just signed up for VIAC and this is my first step in investing! The next step is to set up an account in DEGIRO and start investing in global ETF.

  4. Hey i have seen different options of 3th pillar, definitely the ones that has an insurance include are the worst ones.
    For you which is the best one with less fees more % per year.

  5. Hi,

    It seems VIAC decreased the fees retroactively from 1st of March.

    Thank you poor Swiss for this blog!


    1. Yes, they just decreased several of their fees now that they reached one billion of assets under management! This is great news!

      I still have to update all my articles about VIAC to reflect that.

  6. I can also highly recommend VIAC as it is possible to open multiple portfolios with different strategies and a large equity exposure.

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