As a result of the referendum on 24 September 2017 the Pension Reform was rejected. As a consequence, the VAT rates have been adjusted as of 1 January 2018.
The Swiss Federal Constitution (art. 130 and art. 196 indent 14) itself sets forth the Swiss VAT rates. Therefore, any change in VAT rates is in need of a mandatory referendum.
From 2011 until 2017 the VAT rates were 8% (standard rate), 3,8% (special rate for accommodation) and 2,5% (reduced rate). A part of the VAT receipts (standard rate: 0,4%-points, special rate for accommodation: 0,2%-points and reduced rate: 0,1%-points) was allocated to the Disability Insurance (DI) for additional financing for a limited period of time until the end of 2017. Due to the rejection of the Pension Reform, the VAT rates have been decreased as of 1 January 2018. This also resulted in an adjustment of the net and flat tax rates.
However, by a referendum on 9 February 2014 the people and the cantons approved the increase by 0.1%-point in the three VAT rates as of 1 January 2018 to finance the further development of railways infrastructure (FERI).
The above explanations are summarized in the table below.