Pensioners who live abroad are required to submit a life certificate in order to receive payment of pension benefits. This certificate confirms that according to the representation authority’s findings the pensioner applying for pension benefits was alive at the time the certificate was issued.
Generally, pensioners are required to come in person to the representation authority where they have to provide proof of their identity. If, due to age or illness, pensioners are not able to attend in person, staff from the representation authority may, if it is reasonably possible to do so, visit the individuals in question at their place of residence to gather the necessary information.
The Österreichische Pensionsversicherungsanstalt (Austrian Pension Insurance Institute, PVA) requires pensioners to submit their life certificate once a year. The necessary form is sent out by the PVA every year (in January). This form must be returned to the PVA without further delay, signed by the pensioner and certified by the nearest consular representation. If the completed form is not received by the PVA within six months, pension payments are suspended.
Pensioners who have not received the form by the end of February may print out the life certificate and send it to the PVA following authentication (by the nearest consular representation). Pensioners are furthermore required to inform the PVA within two weeks of any change of address or other change in circumstances that are of relevance for their entitlement to pension benefits.