Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

France - Pensions and old age benefits

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to claim pensions and old age benefits in France.

If you have worked and paid social security contributions in another country of the European Union, your period of work and the contributions that you have made may be taken into account when your pension is calculated in France.

In what situation can I claim?

On your retirement, as an employee in the private sector or a self-employed worker, you can receive a pension from the compulsory schemes that you have paid into. The conditions differ, depending on your year of birth.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Basic scheme

The statutory age in order to apply for a retirement pension (pension de retraite) is set at 62 years for people born from 1955 onwards.

You are not required to make your application when you reach the statutory age; you can wait to do so. If you go on working after the statutory age and beyond the duration of insurance provided in order to obtain the payment of your pension at its full rate, taking into account your year of birth, you can obtain an increase in your pension (premium).

Mandatory supplementary scheme

The basic pension is supplemented by a mandatory additional pension scheme (AGIRC-ARRCO), which is calculated in points. Every year, the amount of contributions paid according to a reference salary or income is converted into points.

The pension received depends on the number of points and on the retirement age. In this points system, the amount of the pension is proportional to your professional income over your entire career and not just the 25 best years, as is the case in the basic scheme.

The statutory retirement age is the same as in the basic scheme. You can opt to have your pension rights paid out from the age of 57 years, but an anticipation coefficient is then applied.

Wage earners born after 1956: if a pension is paid out as soon as the conditions for drawing the full rate are met in the basic scheme, a temporary reduction is applied to the supplementary pension amount (-10% for three years up to 67 years of age). This reduction (solidarity coefficient) is not carried over to pensions that are exempt from CSG and is only 5% for those not receiving the full rate. Under certain conditions, disabled retirees or their family caregivers may also be exempted. Wage earners who opt to defer having their pension paid out for one year will not be affected by the temporary reduction.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Basic scheme

The pensions are paid by the CNAV or the CARSAT. The sum depends on three factors:

  • the basic or average yearly salary (SAM).
  • the rate of payment determined according to the insurance periods and equivalent periods, and according to the age at the time of claiming. The rate of 50% (full rate) can be reduced according to the number of quarters that are missing in order to benefit from this full rate (minimum rate set at 37.5%).
  • the duration of insurance and periods recognised as equivalent by the scheme (periods of contribution and similar periods). The full rate of 50% depends on the duration of the insurance (between 160 and 172 quarters from the year of birth), the age (67 years for beneficiaries born after 1955) or whether they belong to certain categories (incapable of work, housewives having brought up at least three children, etc.).

The amount of the pension may be subject to different increases:

  • increase for a child;
  • increase for a dependent spouse (for pensioners who benefited from this pension on December 31, 2010 and still fulfil the conditions);
  • increase for assistance by a third party.

Mandatory supplementary schemes

For the determination of points, periods that have been paid for and which are non-contributory are taken into account. The latter include periods of employment prior to the application of the scheme, and periods when benefits for health, maternity, disability, accidents at work and unemployment were received.

Annual value of the AGIRC-ARRCO point on 1 January 2020: €1.2714.

The amount of the pension may be increased when the recipient has or has had children:

  • increase of 5% per dependent child of under 18 years old, or 25 years old if a student, apprentice or job seeker (the age requirement is waived for children whose disability has occurred before age 21);
  • increase for raising three or more children: rate according to the scheme paid into, or 10% of the pension on the part of the career after 2011.

These two increases are not cumulative; if necessary, the most advantageous is applied.

Wage earners born after 1956: if the beneficiary continues to work beyond the date on which they meet the full-rate conditions under the basic scheme, the supplementary pension is temporarily increased (for one year). This increase is 10, 20 or 30% for two, three or four years, respectively, of pension deferral.

Jargon busters

  • CNAV: National pension fund. Pension fund for the general system at the national level and in the Paris area.
  • CARSAT: Pension insurance and health at work funds. Pension fund for general system at the regional level.
  • SAM: Average yearly income. This represents income on which contributions have been paid. For all beneficiaries born after 1947, the SAM is calculated on the basis of the 25 best years of the person's career.
  • Payment: Procedure which, for the beneficiary, consists of asserting his pension rights.
  • AGIRC-ARRCO: created in 2019 through the merger of the AGIRC (executives) and ARRCO (all wage earners, including executives) schemes; it is the body that manages the supplementary pension schemes for employees of the private sector - in industry, trade, services and agriculture, including executives.

Forms you may need to fill in

Know your rights

The following links provide further information about your rights. These sites are not the responsibility of the European Commission and therefore do not represent its viewpoints:

Commission publication and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

Contact your local office (general system) via the pension site.

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