Marriage is not social security

It is a gruelling war of positions, the discourse on the reform of social security, with trench battles between minority opinions that checkmate. No vision, no great gesture in sight. I suggest that we shake the current paradigms and concentrate on the essence. I plead for “a policy of equally long spears”. Unequal spears would be unjust, so no one can be against it. What does that mean? The rules apply to everyone equally. Sounds good to me. No special favors.

In concrete terms, men and women naturally have the same retirement age. Equal pay is enshrined in law and is being implemented. Women will do the same amount of compulsory military or civilian service. Men receive the same amount of parental leave as women. People are taxed individually regardless of their marital status. For families and couples, this means that two similarly high incomes will in future be better taxed than two very different incomes due to progression. Men and women receive the same social security deductions and insurance premiums, no distinction is made according to gender. And so are car drivers, dear women. The old and young alike bear the brunt of the system change. No peckers for bitter pills, please. Eyes shut and go for it.

Separation of property will be introduced for marriages, because marriage is not social security.

Each married couple agrees on their transfer benefits for unpaid work on an ongoing individual basis – AHV, BVG and contributions to the third pillar included. The care model is a private matter. Starting a family is no longer a risk of poverty, as child benefit covers external childcare costs. In the event of a divorce, nothing is subsequently divided, only the marriage contract is settled. I refer to the Swiss Federal Constitution, according to which all people are equal before the law (Art. 8 para. 1 and 2 BV) and propose a consistent implementation. The discussion is open.
I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.
The inspiration for the column comes from many interesting discussions – my thanks go to all those involved – you know who I mean! The title was adapted from a conversation with Frederike Asael, who has the gift of expressing complex things very simply.
Column in the Handelszeitung of the 6th September 2018 by Esther-Mirjam de Boer
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