Life and civil status certificate

COVID-19 - Life certificate/Swiss pension AHV

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss Compensation Office (SCO) in Geneva is now accepting – and until the end of 2020 – the life certificate, filled out and signed by the insured Swiss abroad, together with a copy of a valid identity document (with photo). The documents can be sent to the Consulate General of Switzerland in Montreal, which will then forward them to the competent office in Geneva.

A scan of the life certificate (both sides) along with the copy of a valid identity document (with photo) can also be sent directly to the SCO.

Insured Foreign Nationals should have the life certificate legalized by a local authority before sending it to the Consulate, or, as stated above, sending it to the SCO.

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.

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
  • Notaries
  • Retirement homes and hospitals, subject to conditions: compulsory medical certificate for pensioner who are unable or restricted to move.