A Swiss-American woman who has had an account at the Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV) for decades is being forced to close the account before end of December. Aged 65, she receives her Swiss social security and disability payments in the account, and uses the account to pay her Swiss health insurance premiums.
Article (in French): http://www.lematin.ch/suisse/bcv-supprime/story/16464128
The article says that she is being forced to close because she does not live in Switzerland. But how can she draw her pension to which she has the right?!
That sounds like a very good question.
Surely there must be Swiss citizens who live outside the country and still receive their payments. So this is only because she is dual? She’s entitled to these payments so isn’t the onus on the bank to provide an alternative?
*The answer is she must have the monies transferred to an account in Georgia from the sounds of it. US banks won’t have her, neither will the Swiss. However, I wonder why she’s still paying for Swiss health insurance when she’ no longer living in the country. Yes, I know it gives her access to health care, but why pick a country to live in where you don’t trust their health service to be able to look after you? If she’s having to travel back and forth to Switzerland for regular treatment I can’t see that it would be cheaper than living here anyway.
Unfortunately, her only lasting solution will be to renounce her US citizenship, because eventually Georgia too will come under the FATCA umbrella and banks there probably won’t accept her either.
@Medea It might be neccesary to have a Swiss bank account to receive AVS and AI payments. A Georgian bank account might be an alternative, but would the Swiss administration want to pay the money there– I don’t think they would accept but I would have to research.
However, as a Swiss Citizen, she has the RIGHT to participate in Swiss basic health insurance coverage (which has no preexisting condition clause), no matter where she lives. To pay the premiums correctly, she must pay via a BVR (completed payment slip, an efficient old system that is now replicated via electronic banking) with a special confirmation number so that her premium is credited correctly. This requires a Swiss bank, an external payment via an IBAN might not get credited correctly each month without a lot of hassle, and the insurance provider might not want to go to the trouble.
I remember a story here or on another forum like EnglishForum or some other about a Swiss citizen living in the US (I think he may have been dual) who got FBARed to hell because of an undeclared account in Switzerland that he said he was primarily using to pay Swiss health insurance bills (I distinctly remember that he alleged that he opened the account for that purpose, because he received information from the Swiss consulate that he was eligible for basic Swiss insurance if he wanted). I think the account was somewhat above 10k (which it would need to be to avoid paying monthly fees on the account in Switzerland) and it would have been more expensive and complicated for him to wire money every month and then pay the bill. Basic mandatory health coverage (which a Swiss living abroad would have the right to) can easily range from 400-500 per month.
Again, US policies are causing people not to be able to excersize their legal rights and priviledges. This is a 9th amendment violation, a violation of Swiss Sovereignty, a violation of Swiss Constitutional protections against discrimination, and a criminal violation of Art 261bis, Federal Criminal Code, no matter what the Federal Council has agreed to.
In Switzerland, it is commonly said that the people are sovereign. There is no king or one party that rules. This woman is part of that sovereign body, as she is a Swiss citizen. She has the right to vote in her commune of origine or in her last place of residence in Switzerland at all levels (municipal, cantonal, federal). I am not sure if the Swiss census counts people abroad, I would have to research that, but if it does not, that would be a further argument (similar to my Article 1, Section 2 USCONST argument) that the government (in Switzerland elected by parliament, not directly by the people) has no power against people who are not represented proportially in the national council (=House) as the Constitution requires.
The principle of popular sovereignty that I refer to is in fact the same principle as in the US and most other democracies. By not protecting the constitutionally and legally agreed-upon rights and priviledges of the sovereign (i.e. accepting FATCA and allowing banks to discriminate on the basis of FATCA), the Federal Council, as I have said many times, is comitting treason against the sovereign people of Switzerland.
To legally approve FATCA agreements that violate constitutional protections, there must be a popular initiative or referendum.
Please do not confuse the notion of the Swiss People being the Sovereign of Switzerland (as a body) with the sovereign ctzns movements in the US or Canada. We are not talking about the same thing. In the latter case (as far as I know) such people believe in a sort of personal sovereignty, whereas in the former case the idea is that in a democracy the people as a body electorate are sovereign.
I don’t know if this is relevant, but like most former Soviet countries, Georgia has a very good tax environment. Wages are taxed at a flat rate of 20% (scheduled to be reduced to 15% in 2014), interest and dividends at 5% (scheduled to be eliminated in 2014), no capital gains tax on stocks, bonds, or real estate held for more than two years, no wealth tax, no estate, gift or inheritance tax for immediate relatives, and no mandatory social contributions. In addition, foreign income of individuals is not taxed at all, but foreign income of corporations is. The corporate tax rate is 15% and value added tax is 18%.