Life certificate (attestation de vita)
Once a year, you will be requested to submit a “life certificate”. This is necessary because we are unable to check whether our pensioners living abroad are still alive.
From September 2020, our policy regarding the time when the life certificate is requested has changed. The policy is now:
Once a year, Zwitserleven requests a life certificate from non-residents. From now on, you will automatically receive a request from us in the course of your birth month. This new policy will take effect in the first quarter of 2021. An additional life certificate will only be requested in the following cases:
- You live in the EU and receive a total gross benefit of more than € 50,000 per year
- You live outside the EU and receive a total gross benefit of more than € 25,000 per year
In the above cases, the additional proof will be requested six months after your birth month
The life certificate will be requested either in a letter or an e-mail from us.
- If you receive a letter from us, a form will be enclosed.
- f you receive an e-mail from us, you can download your own form on our site (you can also download your own form even if you receive a letter from us)
The form must be completed by an official authority (local government, municipal authorities) and bear the name and position of the employee, an official stamp or declaration of authenticity and a recent date. Please note that the form cannot be completed by you personally.
It is, however, possible to have the form filled in by a civil-law notary, general practitioner, lawyer or staff at a police station. Needless to say, in all these cases, the form must contain an official stamp or a declaration of authenticity.
Instead of our form, you can also send us an official document from the local authorities (preferably including our form).
Foreign bank account number
The payment of your pension is also different depending on whether you are in a country within or outside the SEPA area. This is because of the costs associated with transferring money to a bank account number outside the SEPA area.
Within the SEPA area
Your pension benefit can be transferred at the domestic payment rate. This means that no costs are withheld from the benefit. In this case, we will need additional information from your bank. We will need your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and the BIC code (Bank Identification Code). You can find this information on your bank statement. Alternatively, you can request this information at your bank.
Outside the SEPA area
Certain costs will apply to these payments. The costs charged vary per country and per bank. Unfortunately, we are unable to specify exactly how much it will be, because it also depends on the amount that is transferred. If you think the costs are too high, you could open a bank account in the Netherlands where we can deposit your pension benefit. In that case, you can dispose of your money abroad with a debit or credit card.
We do require additional information from your bank for a payment outside the SEPA area. We need your account number and the BIC (also called SWIFT) code. We also need the name and address of your bank. You can find this information on your bank statement. Alternatively, you can request this information at your bank.
Living abroad also has some other consequences. We are not initially allowed to withhold WLZ premium (formerly, AWBZ premium) and ZVW (social security act) premium from a benefit transferred to a foreign benefit recipient. This means that the wage tax is slightly lower than for a payment to a domestic benefit recipient. However, it is possible that the National Health Care Institute instructs us to withhold WLZ premium and/or ZVW premium and possibly nominal premium from your benefit. More information about the National Health Care institute.
Decision / exemption
Decision / exemption Do you pay taxes in your country of residence? In that case, you risk paying taxes for your Zwitserleven pension benefit both in your country of residence and in the Netherlands. This means the benefit may be taxed twice. To ensure that taxes are not withheld twice, we need a decision from the Tax and Customs Administration in Heerlen, the Netherlands. This decision must be requested by you personally. The following form can be used to this effect: Application for exemption from withholding wage tax/national insurance contributions.
Please send this form to the Belastingdienst (Tax Administration and Customs Administration). The address can be found in the form. The Tax Inspector will evaluate your application and will subsequently issue the decision / exemption. You do not have to inform us about this. We will automatically receive a copy from the Tax Administration and Customs Administration.
Please note: do not send this form to Zwitserleven. We will not take the form into consideration.