While unemployed, you do not pay pension contributions.
However, if you had salaried worker’s status before you registered with France’s unemployment agency Pôle Emploi, your periods of unemployment will count toward your length of insurance.
One quarter will be credited to your account for every 50 days of unemployment, up to a maximum of 4 quarters per calendar year.
Up to 4 quarters that are credited to your account through unemployment benefits can count towards early retirement for a long career.
Read Info Retraite’s article entitled “I started working before the age of 20”
 Important: quarters are credited differently for notary public’s clerks and employees and for Opéra National de Paris personnel (CRPCEN and CROPERA pension schemes): one quarter is credited to your account for every 90 days of unemployment.
1 quarter will be credited to your account for every 50 days of unemployment, up to a maximum of 4 quarters per calendar year.
The number of quarters of unpaid unemployment that can be credited to your account is limited. There are two possible scenarios.
Scenario No. 1: a period of unpaid unemployment coming after a period of paid unemployment.
Up to one year will be credited to your account for each period.
Up to five years can be credited to your account if you are unemployed and:
Are at least 55 years old,
Have paid contributions for at least twenty years, or 80 quarters under all basic schemes combined (not counting quarters for children or quarters for illness, unemployment, etc), and
Have not resumed membership in a compulsory basic scheme.
Scenario No. 2: you had never received benefits prior to this period of unemployment
Periods of involuntary unemployment prior to 2011: up to one year, or 4 quarters, can be credited to your account.
Periods of involuntary unemployment after 2011: up to a year and a half, or 6 quarters, can be credited to your account.
If you are nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for the temporary solidarity bonus (prime transitoire de solidarité/ PTS). This will be paid by France’s unemployment agency Pôle Emploi until you claim your retirement pension.
To learn more about eligibility criteria for the temporary solidarity bonus, please refer to the online information on this program provided by service-public.fr
 Important: quarters are credited differently for notary public’s clerks and employees : one quarter is credited to your account for every 90 days of unemployment. In addition, CROPERA will not credit any periods of unemployment without benefits to your account.
ACCRE assistance is awarded to unemployed individuals who create or take over a business. It exempts you from paying contributions during your first 12 months in business.
You will be exempt from paying contributions on the portion of your income that is at or below 120% of the statutory minimum wage (SMIC) applicable on January 1st (this was 21,119 euros in 2016). If your income exceeds that ceiling, the remainder will be liable to contributions.
Quarters and pension points will be permanently credited to your account based on your actual income, whether it is above or below 120% of the statutory minimum wage.
To learn more about accruing quarters under the ACCRE program, please contact your pension scheme.
When you participate in the ACCRE program for self-employed workers, you are exempted from paying contributions to the supplementary pension scheme, which means that you do not accrue pension points. However, you can choose to waive this exemption in order to accrue points.
You are required to pay supplementary pension contributions on all of your earned income. Your supplementary pension entitlements are based on the contributions you have paid.
If you have maintained salaried worker status (minority executive of a SARL, chair of a SAS, etc.) you have twelve months in which to choose between two calculation methods for your supplementary retirement pension :
- Either your Agirc and Arrco contributions can be calculated on the basis of your new earnings,
- Or your Agirc and Arrco contributions can be calculated in such a way as to guarantee you a point amount that is equivalent to that of the calendar year prior to the creation of your company.
If you choose the second option, make sure to notify your supplementary retirement pension fund.
For personalized information based on your pension schemes, please log into your pension account.
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