Oct 2009 Journal

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AJR Report

Central Office for Holocaust Claims
Austrian pensions improvement

The Austrian government has extended the terms of its Begunstigtenpension (retirement benefits) to enable Jewish victims of the Nazis born in Austria after the Anschluss (12 March 1938) and before the end of the Second World War (8 May 1945) to claim an Austrian state pension.

The new law entitles eligible applicants to retroactively purchase insurance months (contributions) that could not previously have been paid in order to qualify for an Austrian state pension. Specifically, the change in the rules enables persons persecuted by the National Socialist regime who had to emigrate and acquired few or no insurance months in Austria to pay contributions to the pension system at a preferential rate, if they were born:

• between 13 March 1938 and 8 May 1945 and were persecuted in Austria or another country and at least one parent had his/her residence on the territory of the Republic of Austria on 12 March 1938, or

• before 13 March 1938 and had their domicile on the territory of the Republic of Austria on 12 March 1938.

It is thought that some 400 former Austrian Nazi victims worldwide will now be entitled to a pension. Prior to the extension of the Begunstigtenpension, it was considered that following the Anschluss these victims had ceased to be Austrian residents or citizens and had become part of the ‘German Reich’.

The new law in no way affects existing pensions paid by the Austrian government.

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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