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Old 05.04.2021, 15:32
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Re: Double Pension question

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I currently collect pensions from Switzerland (the lion's share), the UK, France and Germany. The years you have contributed add up to allow you to receive a pension, even though you may not have actually contributed the minimum number of years. For instance, for the UK you are supposed to have contributed for a minimum of 10 years to receive a pension. I only contributed for 6 years whilst I was in the UK, but the other years working elsewhere in the EU, got me over the 10 years hurdle. My UK pension is based on the 6 years I contributed, so it's just about coffee money, but added to my French and German pensions (also small), collectively pay lots of coffees per month.
The Swiss AVS will do the paperwork for you to claim the pensions. You need to supply them with your NI number from each country and the periods you worked in the various countries. Get started with the claims at least 6 months before you reach retirement. The Swiss AVS people I dealt with in Geneva were very helpful and competent.
Of the 3 countries I had to deal with, the UK was the most incompetent. It was a little like working with a black hole, with letters (they don't do e-mail in the UK) not being answered, phone numbers requiring long sequences of press 1 for this, 2 for that and so on, with most options being irrelevant.
Surprisingly the easiest to deal with were the French, with well-secured access to details available online and quick responses to written queries.
The Germans were, well German, with everything being very gründlich, though surprisingly poor security. I was given information several times simply on the basis of my name and my date of birth.
That wasn’t exactly how it worked for us.
The Swiss AVS place in Geneva collected all the info regarding the different pensions and then passed that info on to the relevant authorities in those countries who then sent the paperwork to us for us to fill in ourselves.
They didn’t do all the paperwork for us.

We found the German one to be the worst and most onerous, the UK, France and Belgium were all very easy to deal with and surprisingly efficient as were the Swiss.
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