To avoid paying benefits that are not due, the Swiss Compensation Office (SCO) needs to verify that claimants are genuine and actually alive. A certificate of life and marital status is therefore issued to affected claimants on an annual basis. The relevant form is sent to claimants one year after benefits are first paid out. To ensure that pensions continue to be paid without interruption, the form must be completed, certified by the appropriate authority and returned to the SCO in Geneva within 90 days.
Life and civil status certificate
In addition to submitting a certificate of life and marital status, claimants must disclose to the office responsible for paying out benefits any change in their personal circumstances which could cause benefits to be discontinued, increased or reduced and any change of address or bank account details.
If you are registered with a Swiss representation, please also inform the representation of any change of address or civil status.
Who can certify the life certificate in Canada ?
As a general rule, the Life Marital Status and Residence Certificate may be certified by the following authorities:
- the Swiss representations in Canada (Montreal, Vancouver or Ottawa)
- offices of Service Canada: you may find an office near your home (However, take note that the offices offering "Passport services only" will not certify these Certificates).
The following authorities can confirm that the pensioner is alive, but they cannot under any circumstances attest to the marital status. To complete the Life Certificate, you must send it to the competent Swiss representation together with a copy of a valid identity document (preferably a Swiss passport or identity card). The Swiss representation can then add the confirmation of the civil status on the document and send it directly to the Swiss Compensation Office (CSC) in Geneva.
- The police
- Retirement homes and hospitals, subject to conditions: compulsory medical certificate for pensioner who are unable or restricted to move.