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I have taken sabbatical leave or am planning to do so

Sabbatical leave is only available to salaried employees. It consists of 6 to 11 months of unpaid leave, during which time the employment contract is suspended but not terminated.

Upon your return, you will return to your original position or to a similar position, with at least an equivalent level of compensation.

Some of the choices that you make before you leave can have a positive impact on your pension entitlements.

Choosing the best departure date

Your length of insurance comes to one quarter for each increment of 150 times the hourly minimum wage in your yearly salary (1,450 euros in 2016 for 1 quarter [1]. This means that the date on which your sabbatical leave begins can affect the calculation of your quarters of insurance.

Accruing pension entitlements

If you do not work during your sabbatical leave, your period of leave will not count toward your pension entitlements.

However, you can register for voluntary insurance, provided that it kicks in before the beginning of your leave.

Submit your application to your local health insurance fund, or to the Fund for French Citizens Abroad (Caisse des Français de l’étranger/ CFE) if you are living in another country.


[1] Important : quarters are counted differently for notary public clerks and employees (CRPCEN pension scheme): quarters are credited to your account based on periods of employment (from date to date) rather than on your compensation. 


Contribution rates vary based on your circumstances and the risks for which you are insuring yourself (depending on whether you take out only old-age insurance).

There are also other types of special leave

The rules with regard to pension entitlements are similar to those for sabbatical leave.

  • Unpaid leave: there are no specific eligibility criteria.

  • A leave of absence under the general regulations for the public service: the civil servant temporarily leaves his/her administration.

  • “Create your own business” leave: under certain circumstances, your salary will continue to be paid (e.g. as part of a retraining program). This means that you will continue to accrue pension benefits.

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