Currently, the basic, state-run AHV pension scheme implemented under article 112 of the Swiss Federal Constitution sets the retirement age for men at 65 and at 64 for women. For one resident of the Canton of Lucerne, waiting an extra year to retire was simply out of the question. So he decided to legally change his gender to become recognized as a woman under Swiss law and thus be able to retire a year sooner.
Last year, the Swiss Parliament amended its civil code and civil status ordinance to cut through red tape and enable citizens to change their names and genders more easily. That legislation took effect on January 1st, 2022. Following the passage of those amendments, the task of legally changing one’s gender was made so simple that all it takes is a 10-minute phone interview and a one-time fee of about 75 Swiss Francs. The prerequisite phone screening merely exists to ensure that the applicant is of sound mind and is capable of making the decision on their future. The ease of fulfilling those requirements makes the task of changing one’s legal gender all but automatic under current Swiss law.
Legally changing one’s sex in the wake of this new law going into effect does not require the need of any medical or psychological examination. In fact, Swiss civil registry officials tasked with fulfilling this process have been advised not to police any potential misconduct for fear of being deemed transphobic and making the government agencies liable to civil lawsuits. With that political climate enveloping this issue, the Lucerne man was able to have become legally recognized as a woman and thus be eligible to retire a year earlier in the time it would typically take to order a cup of coffee. With her new identity in hand, the sooner-to-be retiree will be eligible for a civil pension of between 13,990 to 27,981 Swiss Francs to be paid out in a lump sum on a yearly basis in 2024.