(Bloomberg) --

Swiss voters backed a plan to reform the state pension system, which includes women working longer and higher sales taxes. 

The measure to increase the retirement age for women by a year was supported by 50.6% of voters, according to preliminary government results. A vote in favor of the move was expected based on predictions earlier this month.

A separate proposal to raise value-added tax and help fund the social security system received 55.1% of votes. 

The reform moves the retirement age for women gradually to 65 years from 64, aligning with that of men. It also brings more flexibility. People have the choice to transition to retirement between the ages of 63 and 70 and can start to reduce working hours while claiming a partial pension. 

The standard VAT rate will increase to 8.1% from 7.7%, while a lower rate will go up by 0.1 percentage point to 2.6%.

Also on the ballot was a government plan to exempt domestic bonds from withholding tax in an effort to make them more attractive to investors. The bill would have also ended sales tax on domestic bonds and other securities. The measure was rejected by 52% of voters. 

A proposal to ban factory farming and make protecting the dignity of farm animals a constitutional requirement was also voted down. 


(Updates with final results throughout)

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