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I am or have been unemployed

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[1], up to a maximum of 4 quarters per calendar year.

IMPORTANT:

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”

 

[1] 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.

  • Periods of involuntary unemployment prior to 01/01/1980 for which you did not receive benefits can count toward your retirement pension.

1 quarter will be credited to your account for every 50 days of unemployment[1], 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.

Exception:

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.

Important :

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

 

[1] 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.

If you contributed into a supplementary pension fund before your employment contract was terminated, that scheme may award points or entitlements for any periods of paid unemployment.

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.

Basic pension

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.

Supplementary pension

Under the ACCRE self-employment program, you are not required to pay supplementary pension contributions. This means that you will not accrue pension points. However, you can waive this exemption in order to earn points.

Exception to this rule :

Craftsmen and merchants are not exempt for supplementary pension contributions. They accrue supplementary pension entitlements based on the contributions they pay.

If you still have salaried worker status, you have the following two choices as to how your supplementary pension contributions are calculated over this twelve-month period:

  • Your Agirc and Arrco contributions can be calculated based on your new income,

  • Your Agirc and Arrco contributions can be calculated in such a manner as to guarantee that your new points will have the same value as those for the calendar year prior to the creation of your business.

Make sure to notify your supplementary pension fund if you choose the second option.

Relevant links

For personalized information based on your pension schemes, please log into your pension account.

You can also use this account to :

  • access your career history
  • and estimate your pension entitlements

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