Moving to USA with retirement savings

Researching for a friend.

they are moving from Switzerland back to their home country of USA. The plan for the move to be permanent, so they are planning on moving their retirement savings with them.

How do they do that?

Is there a fee / expense in doing this.

I'm assuming it needs to go from the ch retirement savings account into a USA retirement savings account.

I read an article that said someone was charged a crazy fee when they moved their's --- I don't know how accurate the article is.

What retirement savings? Säule I, Säule II or III, savings account?

Pillar 1

Doesn't work for US, as CH-US have an agreement for Social Security (P1)


I've recently been corrected --- it's Pillar 2

When I left Switzerland the first time, I expected the move to be permanent and closed my Pillar 2 account.

There was a Swiss withholding tax on the amount in my account (in my case it was about 6%, but it varies based on the size of the account), but no other noticeable/memorable fees.

The amount was transferred within about 10 weeks of my leaving Switzerland, although I was told this was a bit faster than the norm.

One additional quick note. Contributions to Pillar 2 are taxable income in the US at the time the contribution is made. So no tax is due in the US when you receive the funds. This all assumes that your friend has been paying this tax all along. I have no idea what happens if they haven't.