- As before, on application, persons are exempt from having to pay the fee if they receive an annual supplementary benefit (SB) from the Confederation in relation to disability or old-age (OASI or DI). A new development is that the exemption applies from the time the supplementary benefits are received, for a maximum of five years back, but not retroactively to the period before 2019.
- Persons who were already exempt before 2019 should not have to do anything: they will not receive an invoice since Billag has sent Serafe the data on the recipients of supplementary benefits at its disposal.
- To make an application, the confirmation letter from the SB implementation authority concerning receipt of SB must be submitted to Serafe.
- If one member of a private household is exempt, the obligation to pay the fee no longer applies to all members of the household concerned. In the case of SB recipients, the exemption applies for at least three years. After that the collection agency must conduct an enquiry as to whether the conditions for exemption from the fee are still being met.
- Exemption for recipients of social welfare assistance is not provided, as social welfare assistance takes the fee into account in the basic amount. Discounts or waivers cannot be granted.
- Legal basis: Article 69b paragraph 1 letter a and paragraph 2 of the Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVA; CC 784.40) and Article 61 paragraph 1 of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
Beneficiaries of supplementary benefits
- Foreign diplomats and consular officials as well as the administrative, technical and service personnel of diplomatic missions with identity cards listed in the Radio and Television Ordinance are also exempt.
- The following identity cards of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA) give entitlement to exemption from the fee: Type B, C, D, E, K red, K blue or K violet.
- Legal basis: Article 69b paragraph 1 letter b of the Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVA; CC 784.40) and Article 61 paragraph 3 letters a, b and c of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
Housholds of deafblind persons
- Households which consist only of deaf-blind persons do not have to pay the fee.
- An application and a copy of a medical certificate must be submitted to Serafe for an exemption from the fee.
- Legal basis: Article 61 paragraph 4 of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
- All persons who possess neither a radio, a television, a car radio, a smartphone, a computer with internet access nor a tablet can benefit from exemption from the fee (opting out).
- As soon as a household has received the bill from Serafe - and not before - it can submit an application using a form provided by Serafe.
- Exemption from the fee applies for one year.
- For each subsequent fee period, a request must be re-submitted on receipt of the bill.
- An exempt household which acquires the possibility of receiving radio or television programme services must notify Serafe immediately and waive the exemption.
- Legal basis: Article 109c Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVA; CC 784.40) and Articles 94 to 96 of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
Principal residence abroad and no secondary residence in Switzerland
- Someone who has their principal residence abroad and who does not have a secondary residence in Switzerland, i.e. a person on holiday in Switzerland, does not have to pay the fee.
Registration and exemption
No. Every household will automatically receive a bill from Serafe.
No. For billing, the collection agency, Serafe, uses data provided from the residents' registers of the cantons and municipalities. If you move house, it is important that you communicate this information to your residents' register office immediately.
Private households in which a person lives,
- who receives annual supplementary benefits relating to the AHV or IV pensions;
- who has a Federal Department of Foreign Affairs identity card (type B, C, D, E, K red, K blue or K violet);
- who is deaf-blind (if no person obliged to pay the fee is a member of the household).
There is also an Opting-out option for those households in which there are no means of reception (for either radio or television).
Recipients of annual supplementary benefits associated with AHV or IV pensions are exempt for a maximum of five years retroactively from the commencement of receipt of supplementary benefits (but from the time of introduction of the household fee on 1 January 2019 at the earliest).
No, data on the persons who receive annual supplementary benefits to the old age, survivors and invalidity insurance have been transmitted from Billag to Serafe. Exempted households in the old system will not receive an invoice and do not have to do anything.
No, only persons who receive annual supplementary benefits associated with old age, survivors and invalidity insurance can be exempted from the fee. The exemption applies to this person's household. In the case of social benefits, the fee for radio and television, like the current reception fee, is included in the in the basic needs used to derive subsistence.
No. An old people's home or care home is considered to be a collective household, which has to pay the collective household fee for its members. The fee is therefore paid directly by the home.
No. The fee paid by a household applies to the main residence but also to a secondary residence, whether it is used by one or more household members.
(Exception: If a person's main residence is abroad, they have to pay the fee for their secondary residence in Switzerland).
No. The fee has to be paid only for one's main residence. Members of this household who live for a number of days a week in a different location do not have to pay the fee twice.
Yes, you will get be reimbursed the amount for this period. Here's how it works: the residents' registration office will inform Serafe of the household's deregistration and of your emigration. To receive the refund of the amount, inform Serafe of your bank account details.
Not in principle. Only people who deregister their place of residence in Switzerland and move abroad receive a refund. If a place of residence in Switzerland is maintained, there is no exemption from the fee.
No. Someone who goes abroad only temporarily and who does not cease to reside in Switzerland continues to be liable for the fee with Serafe AG.
The only persons who do not have to pay the fee are those who do not have a principal residence or a secondary residence in Switzerland.
Today reception equipment can no longer be allocated unambiguously to one specific individual intended purpose, as was previously the case for a radio, a television set or a telephone. Therefore both Parliament and the voters in the referendum in 2015 approved a device-independent fee.
Last modification 16.04.2019