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.
Life and civil status certificate
Life certificates in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe may be certified by the following authorities:
Swiss representations abroad
Doctors, old-age homes and hospitals only with mandatory medical certificate and only for single benefit recipients who are not able to travel
In South Africa, life certificates may be certified by the following authorities:
- Swiss Embassy or Consulate general
- Honorary Consulate in Durban
- Home affairs - The life certificate can then be sent directly back to the Swiss compensation Office in Geneva.
Commissioner of Oaths
Please Note: Old-age homes, hospitals, doctors, police stations and commissioner of oaths may not under any circumstances confirm the civil status. Therefore, the life certificate has to be forwarded to the Regional Consular Centre in Pretoria /RCC or the Consulate General in Cape Town / CG (if you live in the Cape Provinces or in Namibia). The RCC and the CG can confirm the civil status of Swiss citizens, if you are duly registered and kept your data up to date. They will then forward the certificate to the Swiss Compensation Office in Geneva.
If you have any questions, please contact the Swiss Central Compensation Office:
Central compensation Office
Voluntary scheme - benefits
Avenue Edmond-Vaucher 18
Case Postale 3100
CH 1211 Genève 2
Tel : +41 (0)22 795 91 11
Fax : +41 (0)22 795 97 03
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.
In case of any changes in your personal circumstances (change of address, payment address or change of civil status), pension recipients must immediately notify the Central Compensation office.
If you are registered with a Swiss representation, you should also inform it of any change of address or civil status.