Aug 2009 Journal

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AJR Report

Ghetto pensions

Following a court ruling in Germany, it is now possible for people whose applications for a ghetto pension were rejected to have their claims reviewed. The court has ruled that the previous eligibility criteria were too restrictive and that, as a result, people’s claims were unjustly turned down.

Approximately 70,000 people applied for a ghetto pension but around 60,000 claims were rejected. The original eligibility criteria were extremely difficult to satisfy and the pension authorities came under immediate pressure to liberalise the conditions that must be met.

Matters were further complicated by the Ghetto Fund, introduced in response to the huge numbers of rejected claims for the ghetto pension. The Ghetto Fund paid a one-time award of 2,000 euros for those who worked in a ghetto. One of the conditions of receiving this payment is that anyone who was subsequently awarded the Ghetto pension would have to repay this sum.

We are advising those whose ghetto pension claims were rejected to write to the pension authority which turned down their claim and ask for a review. In circumstances in which a husband or wife who applied has since passed away, a widow/er can pursue the claim.

It is still possible for those who have not yet applied for a ghetto pension to do so.

Tax on German pensions

In response to the notice many members recently received about tax payable on German pensions, we can confirm that income tax is not payable on these annuities. German and Austrian pensions are exempt from tax in accordance with section 330 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, which states that ‘Annuities and pensions payable under any special provision for victims of National-Socialist persecution which is made by the law of the Federal Republic of Germany or any part of it or of Austria shall not be regarded as income for any income tax purpose.’
Written enquiries should be sent to Central Office for Holocaust Claims (UK), Jubilee House, Merrion Avenue, Stanmore, Middx HA7 4RL, by fax to 020 8385 3075, or by email to mnewman@ajr.org.uk
 

 

Michael Newman

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