Life and civil status certificate

As of May 1, 2021, the Swiss Compensation Office in Geneva (SCO) will again require an official life certificate confirmed by the authorities. This procedure of life certification is intended for the Swiss abroad. As a rule, only Swiss citizens should go to the Swiss representations. All other nationalities should contact their own representation or municipality of residence.

If this is not possible due to the current COVID situation in Japan (e.g. difficulties in visiting the relevant authorities), the life certificates can be confirmed by the insured persons themselves by means of their own signature (without the stamp of the authorities). In this case, we ask the insured to enclose a copy of the valid passport or identity card as well as a witness confirmation with the certificate. The life certificates can be sent to the Swiss Compensation Fund in the form of a PDF by e-mail to sedmaster@zas.admin.ch or in the original by normal mail.

The witness confirmation can be formulated as follows:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I, __________________________________ (name/first name of witness), confirm that Mr./Mrs. ____________________________________________ (name/first name of insured) is alive.

Complete address of witness: __________________________________________________

Date: ______________________________________________________________________

Signature: __________________________________________________________________

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In principle, all persons of legal age and capacity are eligible as witnesses. The witness confirmation must be submitted in one of the three Swiss national languages or in English.

The witness confirmation should ideally be handwritten directly on the form or printed out (signature by hand, of course).

If the insured wishes to extend the 90-day deadline for submitting the life certificate because it is imminent, they must notify the OASI directly, as failure to receive the document will result in automatic deferral of payment. 

The requests concerning the extension of the deadline and the life certificates can be sent to the following e-mail address: sedmaster@zas.admin.ch. In urgent cases, the SCO can also be reached by phone at +41 58 461 91 11.

Ideally, insured persons should use the original form that they receive annually from the Swiss Compensation Office, which is provided with a barcode. This eliminates the need for subsequent manual processing at the Swiss Compensation Office and is correspondingly faster.

To avoid paying benefits that are not due, the Swiss Compensation Office (SCO) carries out checks to make sure that benefit recipients are neither fictitious nor deceased. Every year it sends a life and civil status certificate to all beneficiaries, who must have the completed and signed form witnessed by a competent authority before returning it to the SCO in Geneva within 90 days. Failure to meet the deadline may lead to an interruption in benefit payments. New claimants first receive the form 12 months after their benefit entitlement begins.

CCO: Certificate of life and marital status

Regardless of the procedure pertaining to the life and civil status certificate, benefit recipients must immediately notify the office that disburses their benefits of any changes in their personal circumstances which might lead to the withdrawal of, or increase in, benefits and of any change of their home or payment address.

If you are registered with a Swiss representation, you should also inform it of any change of address or civil status.

If the Life and civil status certificate has been lost, a new and blank form can be downloaded on the webpage of the Central Compensation Office CCO:

  • please scroll down on the page to the Form: Certificate of life and marital status (PDF, 56 kB, 02.11.2016)
  • please make sure to fill in the form and do not forget to mention your Swiss Insurance Number

Authorized entities for authentication of Life, Marital Status and Residence Certificates in Japan

There are several possibilities to have the Life, Marital Status and Residence Certificates authenticated:

  • at the counter of the Embassy; please take into account the opening hours and public holidays of the Embassy, which are published on the right side of your screen under “Opening hours” and “Public holidays”.

Every person mentioned on the Certificate has to be present in person and provide an identity document in original

An appointment has to be made prior to the visit; every person mentioned on the Certificate has to be present in person and provide an identity document in original; the Certificate has to be handed over to be sent to the Embassy and thereafter to Switzerland

  • at the municipal administration of your place of residence (Shiyakusho / 市役所 or Kuyakusho / 区役所)
  • at a Notary public (Koushouyakuba / 公証役場)
  • Japan Pension Service, Department of External Coordination, Overseas Payments and International Agreements, 3-5-24 Takaido-Nsihi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8505, phone: +81 3 5344 1100, website: www.nenkin.go.jp and its Branches, which can be found under the following link: www.nenkin.go.jp

The certification has to be arranged beforehand and directly with the branch. The Embassy is not able to assist you with this process.

  • for persons with restricted mobility due to illness or confinement to bed: exceptionally the Certificate of life and marital status can be signed by the treating doctor, the rest home or the hospital; please note that in such cases the Certificate has to be accompanied by a Medical certificate, stating the circumstances
  • If for some other reason the person is unable to come, he/she needs to provide in addition to the Life Certificate the Certificate of Residency (Jyuminhyo / 住民票), which can be obtained at the nearest City Hall (Shiyakusho / 市役所 or Kuyakusho / 区役所) or an Extract from the family registry (Koseki Touhon / 戸籍謄本全部事項証明), which can be obtained at the City Hall (Shiyakusho / 市役所 or Kuyakusho / 区役所) of his/her place of origin

if the person is older than 89 years: a Medical certificate is needed : in addition, confirming that the person on the Certificate is still alive

Please note that there is no obligation to use the Certificate of the Central Compensation Office; however if a form in Japanese language is to be used, it has to be accompanied by an official translation in one of the Swiss national languages or English or Spanish.