Tribune de Genève.
According to Tribune de Genève 20,000 pensioners were contacted and asked to prove they are still alive. 16,700 in Switzerland and 3,300 abroad. Some of those who received the letters are furious. One recipient said that many of her retired friends found the letters humiliating. The requests were sent to former employees of the canton of Geneva who were told to respond before 31 July 2015. When contacted a representative of the pension service said that the letters were part of a routine check to make sure that pension payments only go to those who qualify.
The request triggered a rush to the Geneva pension office. Others have rushed to obtain certificates to prove they are still alive. The delay for responding has now been extended until 31 August 2015 due to mail delivery problems.
The Geneva state pensions office said that this won’t be the last time this happens. The office plans to run checks every two years.
When asked how many times deaths had not been reported to the pension office over the last few years the spokesperson said it was difficult to give numbers, however they have discovered two cases from this check – one in France and one in Switzerland. In these cases any illegitimate payments received must be repaid.
Read full article on Tribune de Genève
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John Miller says
It’s normal practice in the UN system for UN staff pensioners to have to prove on a regular basis that they are still alive: in fact it has to be done annually or their pension stops. In Geneva, it’s easy – a bus trip to the Du Pont building near the airport once a year to hand in a form. But those who have retired to remote locations in far-off countries may have a less easy time as the notification and response have to travel by post, with quite some scope for the mails to go astray.