Life and civil status certificate

New process of life verification for certain OASI/DI (AHV/IV) pension beneficiaries

The process of life verification (life certificate) will be simplified from 2022 with the introduction of an automated exchange.

Swiss nationals residing abroad who are duly registered with the Swiss representation in their country of residence will, in principle, no longer receive the “Life certificate” form to be certified, as this information will be transmitted directly from the Register of the Swiss Abroad to the Central Compensation Office in Geneva.

This simplified procedure, however, does not exempt from the obligation to inform the Swiss representation or the Central Compensation Office of any changes such as changes of address, changes in marital status, etc.

In exceptional cases, registered persons may nevertheless receive such a request for life certificate.

Important: Persons who have not yet returned their life certificate for 2021 are still obliged to do so.

For more information please consult the webpage of the Central Compensation Office 

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 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 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). 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

E-mail :

Disclosure requirement

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.

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, please also inform the representation of any change of address or civil status.