The Swiss government discriminates against men when it comes to pension benefits. That is the harsh conclusion of the European Court of human rights. The case that one man brought after his wife died in the 1990s is now causing the Swiss pension system to have to be reformed.

The Swiss government has received a big slap in the face from the European Court of human rights.

It is about the pension that a man receives after his wife dies: it is paid only if there are young children. Anyone who becomes a widower when the children are already adults does not receive a pension. Widows receive a lifelong pension. These rules apply in Switzerland because the man is seen as a breadwinner there.

Max Beeler, a Swiss man whose wife died in an accident in the 1990s, objected to the rules. At the time, he stopped working at the age of 41 to care for his children and received a widower’s pension. That stopped in 2010 because his youngest child turned 18 years old.

If Beeler had been a woman, he would have received a pension all his life. Even if there were no children in the game. Beeler went to court. The court ruled that the Swiss were no longer entitled to a pension and could work better.

Beeler sought it higher up and brought in the European Court. The court ruled that men are discriminated against in Switzerland. The Swiss pension must therefore be paid retroactively and the law must be amended.

The court’s decision, according to the BBC, is likely to reignite the debate in Switzerland about how much control European authorities may have over national legislation.


About the author: Dorian Vogt

Dorian Vogt is the founder of WeeklyNewsReview project and prolific author of many articles here and beyond. His experience is in guiding others is hard to overestimate. His main interests is Zürich city topics. You can't find anyone more in the know about the local news.

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