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Retired living abroad:advice and instructions

Retired living abroad:advice and instructions

It is estimated that more than one million French people live abroad after retirement. Their proportion has doubled in the space of ten years. Many of them stay in Europe, in Portugal in particular, but a certain number choose more distant destinations such as Morocco, overseas territories or Mauritius for example. Going to live your retirement abroad cannot be improvised. It is first necessary to choose the country where to expatriate according to its desires, its needs or its attachments among others. Then, to benefit from the payment of his pension in his host country and also to be able to benefit from the social rights acquired in France, in particular with regard to health, it is also necessary to take certain steps.

The essential steps to receive your pension abroad

Provide contact details

It is quite possible for a French retiree to go and live in a foreign country and continue to receive his basic retirement pension, as a supplement. But for this, it is necessary to perform certain steps. In particular, you must inform your various pension funds that you reside outside France and provide them with all the information relating to your address, the contact details where you can be reached, and those related to your banking situation. Please note that your pensions can be paid into your French bank account or into an account you have opened in your new country of residence.

Retired civil servants living abroad have the possibility of requesting payment of their pension from the treasury/accounting department of the embassy or consulate of their new country of residence.

Namely:if retirement pensions can continue to be paid to retirees living abroad, on the other hand, the Solidarity allowance for the elderly (Aspa), that is to say the minimum old age, can no longer be seen. Indeed, residing in France is one of the conditions for benefiting from this allowance.

Attest to its existence

To be able to receive your Social Security pension, but also the pensions of your own basic and complementary French pension funds, you must also provide what is called a life certificate. This document allows retirees living abroad, among other things, to certify that they are still alive in order to be able to continue to receive their retirement pensions. For the sake of simplification, this certificate of life has recently been managed by a single body, the Retirement Insurance, which is responsible for transmitting this certificate to the French pension schemes concerned. Each pensioner living abroad must provide this document once a year. He is notified electronically that this document is available in his personal space on the Pension Insurance website.

You must have your life certificate completed by the competent authorities of the country where you are retiring. It can be a town hall, a police station, etc. Once officially endorsed, you must send this document within 3 months to the Retirement Insurance. This sending is possible electronically on your personal space or by post using the form provided by the National Pension Insurance Fund (Cnav). If you do not return your life certificate within the set deadlines, the payment of your retirement pensions is suspended for at least one month after this date.

Where to pay your taxes?

Retirement pensions for French people living abroad are subject to a special tax and social regime, which depends on the country of residence. Thus, depending on the situation, income tax must be paid either only in France, or only in the host country, or in both countries. It all depends on whether or not the country where you are retiring has signed an agreement with France. If the latter does not exist, and in the absence of other tax agreements, you are in principle taxed in both countries. In the presence of an agreement, rules have been put in place to avoid this double taxation. They define for each case where French pensioners must pay their income tax. The place of taxation also depends on the type of retirement pension (basic, supplementary, agricultural scheme or private such as life insurance or retirement savings). This is why it is essential to be well informed about the tax procedures in force in your adopted country.

Similarly, the pensions of retirees who reside abroad for tax purposes are subject to social security contributions (health insurance, invalidity, death, etc.), at different rates depending on the type of pension, but not to the CSG and the CRDS. There are also cases where these retirees can be exempt from these contributions if they meet certain conditions.

Health care coverage abroad

The arrangements for covering medical care for retirees living abroad depend on the situation in the new country of residence (European or not).

In Europe

If you are retiring in a Member State of the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) or in Switzerland, your health care is covered in your host country according to the legislation in force there, but also during your temporary stays in France. To benefit from it, you must nevertheless make a request to your pension fund using the registration form in order to benefit from health insurance benefits.

Outside Europe

Health insurance does not cover the health costs of retirees who live abroad in a country outside of Europe. However, some of these countries have signed an agreement with France to allow care to be paid for despite everything. To find out about the rules in your host country, you can check with your health insurance fund in France or consult the website of the Center for European and International Social Security Liaison (Cleiss). If no agreement has been made with your host country, it is strongly recommended that you take out a private assistance or insurance contract, for example with the Caisse des Français de l'Étranger (CFE), because the Medical expenses can be very expensive in some countries.