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Pension advice please

Posted by No longer Online - Created: 4 years ago
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7 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 7)

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Posted by brian61-782152 - 4 years ago

Hello HIL25, I think that "janes" advice is accurate but would like to add my own experience after helping someone from Normandy.

You should apply foe both UK and French pensions seperately. The UK one should be straight forward as long as you respect the timings etc.

The French pension is far more complex and will require very accurate form filling and documentary evidence (of which you should keep a file copy of absolutely everything). One of the most important things to determine is the date upon which you are entitled to start your French retirement. In your case assuming that you were born before 1 July 1951 it is on your 65th birthday. Having determined that date you should make the official request on the official forms 4 months before. On page 4 of that request is space for you to detail the years worked in the UK, type of work, place of work and importantly your National Insurance number.

With that information the CNAV will contact their international branch who will fill in a European request form and request your personal employment record from the UK international desk. The UK will complete an E205 and eventually return it to France. This form gives year by year how many weeks you have worked. The UK side is a bit of a mess as it uses the April-March year whilst the French use January to December. But from what you have said it should show 40 years x 52 weeks. You will not see this completed form.

The details of the E205 will then be put on your French record and count towards the total number of quarters recorded. As you did not pay into the French pension fund during this time it is only the quarters that count (it does not directly increase the payment)

Expect there to be delays in obtaining details of the E205. If you can persuade CNAV to make the international request early it will be to your advantage. My experience was that it took over 12 months to get this information sorted although pension payment was back dated.

The CNAV have said that they will get the International pension people to contact you; in my opinion that never happens; stay polite with the CNAV but visit them personally and ask them to help you.

One word of warning, it used to be that unless you had worked in France for 10 years they would not pay a "foreigner" a pension due to them not having the quarters etc required. I do not know if that is still true. If you have an assistant sociale attached to your Mairie they might be able to help in form filling etc.

Hope that this helps.

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Posted by janes-394036 - 4 years ago

Hi Kanak

Your post is inaccurate.

Whether you apply for your UK pension direct from the UK or apply for it via the French pension provider associated with your final work, it is still paid direct from the UK into your account.

And it is not cheating to make sure that the French pension authorities take into account your years of  contributions in the UK. It is what you're supposed to do. Here's a link that explains it. If you read it you will understand why it is too complicated to post an explanation here.


Just to clarify, both pensions are still paid separately, but because of the way the French pension is calculated, people with very few years of contributions can be unfairly penalised, therefore some adjustment is made based on years of contributions in other countries. This is not cheating and, Kanak, if this didn't happen to you when you claimed your French pension, then you lost out on something you were entitled to.

You don't have any choice over who issues your S1. It is normally the last country you worked in.

As for specialist advice, I'm not sure it exists. I went through this a couple of years ago and had to handle it myself. There are French companies who help French retirees sort out their French pension. A friend of mine used one but she still ended up having to apply for the UK one herself and having to advise them about EU law regarding the calculation of her French one. Maybe they have caught up now? Perhaps someone who has retired more recently and used the services of such a company can advise.

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Posted by Kanak - 4 years ago

I think it is europe--wide that you are supposed to activate your pension through your last employer.
However, since the regulations in U.K. change so often, and rapidly, maybe this site will give experiences based on historic/different circumstances which no longer apply.   If the french take on 'full' payment, they will ask U.K. to fund it (someone has to pay for it!), . Your employer/Caisse should send the papers off for you if this is the case, but I do not know technically how chèque emploi is classed relative to full employment, as your lifetime gains are so little in France.  If you apply directly to U.K without telling the french it is 'cheating' to then ask the french to cumul U.K income to get a better deal here.   Hope this isn't contradictory, but I have had to face a scenario like this myself, and at the time it was normal to get two separate state pensions, tho' the earnings related part in France is paid with the pension, as opposed to U.K additional pension being mostly privatised, and the two pensions were calculated for each country without any overlap whatsoever.    Your bigger worry will be health care, and I think you could probably choose S1.  Get specialist advice!

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Posted by janes-394036 - 4 years ago

My husband was in a similar situation, eligible for both UK and French pensions. i will reply briefly here but please feel free to dm me if you want more info.

His health care should be funded by France as he has worked here since leaving the UK so no need for an S1.

You should apply for his UK pension via whoever will supply his French pension and you should do it early. I think Cheque Emploi is via your local Carsat but someone else may know better. My husband was via RSI. However, we ignored their instructions to apply via France and applied direct. So maybe worth a try.

Yes, you can and may have to claim the two pensions independently. For instance you may be eligible for one before  the other. However, when you apply for your French pension, make sure they have and take into account your contiributions in the UK. It can boost your French one  because it can reduce the number of years taken into account for the calculation of your SAM. Salaire Annuel Moyen.


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Posted by Field18 - 4 years ago

Read the following link.



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Posted by Foxie-986308 - 4 years ago

when I say 'provided', should have said 'funded'.

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Posted by Foxie-986308 - 4 years ago

I don't see why he would need an S1?

The S1 is only relevant if you live in one country but have your healthcare provided by a different country. In your case, you live in France and it appears that (perhaps unfortunately) you will continue to have your healthcare provided by the French social security system. So - no S1 is needed.

You will need to speak to the French pensions people who are supposed to be very helpful, but somebody else who has experience of this will explain who to contact I'm sure.