Pension provision was practically non-existent in the second half of the 19th century. Social and financial safeguards in cases of illness, disability or death were virtually unavailable. Foreign companies essentially divided the insurance business with Swiss customers among themselves. In 1855, the Zurich cantonal government therefore urged Conrad Widmer, a lawyer from Thurgau, to look more closely into the idea of a Swiss life insurance company. On 28 September 1857, Swiss Life took up operations under the Rentenanstalt name in a small back-yard building near Zurich’s Paradeplatz. It was the first national life insurance company under Swiss law. What started out with just a handful of staff has experienced powerful growth in the past 150 years, and Swiss Life is now one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance and pension solutions, with around 9000 employees.
“We accompany people through their entire lives. Our anniversary activities are focused on the younger generation, and we have created a forward-looking programme for the occasion." The highlight of the anniversary festivities will be the official celebration of the company’s founding day on 28 September.
Kids Festival for the football stars of tomorrow
A variety of anniversary projects were launched over the past few months. April saw
the kick-off to Kids Festival, a talent promotion programme carried out with the Swiss Football Association. Roughly 13,000 children are given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills during the 40 tournaments this year and next.
150 young ideas for Switzerland
At the end of May, the awards for the nationwide "Young people design living space" competition were presented in Berne. 1000 youngsters from all parts of the country took part in the contest – which was initiated together with the University of Applied Sciences in Rapperswil – and developed their ideas for future living spaces.
"C'est la vie!" board game for the whole family
The anniversary board game “C’est la vie!”, jointly developed by Swiss Life and Carlit + Ravensburger, ensures hours of fun for the whole family. The game is suitable for players from ten years of age and can be ordered from the Swiss Life website for the special price of CHF 20.
Sensitising young people to retirement planning
Secondary-school-level learning material on the topic of provision for the future was created for the anniversary in cooperation with the “Jugend und Wirtschaft” (youth and business) association. Supplementing this material, Swiss Life offers project weeks for school classes on the subject of growing old.
Foundation supports charitable initiatives
Swiss Life’s "Perspectives” foundation, set up in 2007, is aimed at opening up new perspectives for people and enabling them to have a better future. It has already provided financial support to numerous projects associated with integration and education in its first year. This foundation will ensure that anniversary activities also continue beyond the current year.
Further information on the anniversary and historic visual material are available under www.swisslife.ch/150jahre
The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe’s leading providers of pension and life insurance products. The Swiss Life Group offers individuals and companies comprehensive advice across a broad range of products via agents, brokers and banks in its domestic market, Switzerland, where it is market leader, and selected European markets. Multinational companies are serviced with tailor-made solutions by a network of partners in over 60 countries and regions. With Banca del Gottardo, the Swiss Life Group is also a provider of private banking services. The bank, with its head office in Lugano, has an extended national and international network and around CHF 36 billion in customer assets under management.
Swiss Life Holding, registered in Zurich, dates back to the Schweizerische Rentenanstalt founded in 1857. Shares of Swiss Life Holding are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The Swiss Life Group employs a staff of around 9000.