The retirement benefits of employees insured under the French General Social Security System are comprised of a basic pension and a supplementary pension.
The basic pension
Employees born in 1955 or later can retire at the age of 62. For preceding generations, this age differs according to the year of birth.
The basic pension amount depends on the employee’s average annual income, which is calculated based on the 25 highest annual incomes they have earned.
The amount also depends on the number of quarters that have been validated (the “contribution duration”). Validated quarters are:
- Quarters for which pension contributions have been paid and collected by URSSAF offices.
- Quarters during which the employee did not work due to illness, maternity leave, occupational accidents, etc.
- Quarters during which the employee did not work due to the birth of a child, parental leave, etc.
To obtain a full pension, insurees born in 1973 or later must prove that they have 172 validated quarters. The total pension received may be supplemented.
« Pension, how does it work? »
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The supplementary pension
In addition to the General Social Security System’s basic pension, all employees contribute to a mandatory supplementary pension.
It is implemented by the association for the supplementary pensions of employees (ARRCO), which covers all employees, and by the general association of executive pension institutions (AGIRC), which covers company executives:
- Non-executive employees contribute to the ARRCO.
- Executive employees contribute to the ARRCO and the AGIRC.
The supplementary pension received alongside the basic pension depends on the contributions paid by an employee during the course of their career.
Who to contact? ARRCO for all employees and AGIRC for executive employees
Pension contribution periods completed abroad
Pensions are calculated based on the entire career of individuals who have worked both in France and abroad. This amounts to a totaling of pension contribution periods.
The totaling of all pension contribution periods takes into account the pension contribution periods completed under the legislation of another country, so as to provide an individual with access to state pension rights in France.
This option is available to individuals who have worked:
- In a member state of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
- In a country that has signed a bilateral social security agreement with France, subject to the latter covering pension requirements.
The insuree’s pension rights are assessed with respect to all the national legislations under which they have worked.
Every country calculates the portion of the pension that it must pay with respect to all the pension contribution periods completed in the countries covered by the agreement.
In the event that the individual has worked in several countries that have agreements with France, the most advantageous total for the employee is applied. This principle also applies if the insuree wishes to benefit from the totaling of their pension contribution periods within the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, or in any other country that has an agreement with France.
If the individual has worked in a country that does not have a bilateral social security agreement with France, their pension is calculated in each country, without taking into account the periods validated in the other country.
Working abroad: how will my pension be calculated ?
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