Are you scared?

Hi Carryn it is now more than ten years since I hit retirement age - and got the shock announcement from Australia. I remember my wife and I heading off to the Pensions and Social security people, but the conversations were in technical french which I really didn't understand, and even my wife struggled with? Net result was zilch for me, which to be honest I thought was fair enough as I hadn't contributed at all, and a further five years wait for my wife as a penalty for daring to work outside France.

We were and remain 'penalised' through having our own home bought and paid for, plus no debts. However and to be fair we did get a series of exemptions from various charges, but no cash at all. Fortunately we had enough saved up to just tie us over this period. Now with the UK contribution we get the equivalent of ONE full pension, and that's it. We also as from this year have to have a Mutuelle as we are apparently regarded as 'rich'.

I am sure there are many others living here in a similar circumstances, but for us we are still much better off here than trying to cope with the costs of living in the UK. Anyway the only real diference to going somewhere else outside the UK is that you have the RIGHT of abode in other EU countries, but that's really about all.

No one can know at this stage. It seems to me that it is one of the preexisting rights that ought to be preserved in any transitional negotiations, and the same would apply to non UK EU citizens living in the UK. After all the S1 entitlement arises because we have paid taxes and contributions in the UK so whether the country remains in the EU or not there would be no additional cost to the UK exchequer.

i think it's the fact that you're working and paying in to the system, not the fact of living here ;-)

But no, I'm not scared. A little concerned, sometimes...

If France has a right wing government and the UK leaves EU, you could imagine a scenario where (like the UK proposals right now), France decides to exclude all non-UK residents earning less than...

Especially if UK gives France a lot of grief during the Brexit process.

Alex, a very large chunk of my life was spent working in non-EU countries (some of whom later did join), so I wouldn't let the lack of an EU passport worry you too much. It would remove some protections but not too many as one side wouldn't give a toss anyway. More important would be to have a VERY pragmatic view of lfe working under any sort of contract, and make sure you got the most you could 'upfront' and not rely on any future promises. If you went to the middle East for example you could easily get a 24-page 'Contract' issued by the Department of Labour (as I did in Bahrain) but which meant absolutely nothing when a dispute arose.

Precise wording 'What? You as a foreigner believe you could take an Arab company, in an Arab country to an Arab court over a breach of an Arab Work Contract - and really expect to win?' The only area that was so obvious but in reality not so very different from anywhere. Didn't stop the work flow as I was good at what I did, but I was under no illusions as to my status if things went pear-shaped.

"On your own Jack' is probably not too bad a rule to live by as far as possible, as I have yet to find a politician who is upright and honest, and who means what he says about anything. At least that way I am never surprised at any nonsense or even rank stupidity they come up with. It is all based on self-interest as they see it, and that is rarely compatible with forward thinking and/or the good of the 'sheeple'.

If any are really of the belief that we as ex-pats qualify as anything valuable in their thinking or consideration, I fear they are doomed to be disappointed to say the least. I have said it before I think, but I remember in Russia being told that they were used to a system that 'tempered Autocracy with Assassination'

I can't help having some affinity with that view.

Prefer the wild ones myself. That also seems truer to form as she indoors would say - with regard to wallowing in muck meant of course.

Actually, their day is gone anyway. Today it is being reported that the 62 richest people in the world are as wealthy as half of the world's population. Looking down the list of the wealthiest people there are several educational drop outs who did not go to elite schools before their unsuccessful attempt at higher education, several self-made people of a very ordinary to not very good educational background and so on but a general lack of public school backgrounds, Carlos Slim as the second richest of all especially if there is a 'typicality' or such a thing.

I went to Eton so watch it!

Well to be precise the Slough & Eton C of E Sec. Mod school* just up the road and across a big field and a thousand years!

Better known locally as Raggie Road School for Young Thugs (hooligans was too long a world for our vocabulary!) I think a great number of my compatriots grew up to be supportive of the local police forces - mainly through providing work.

Pigs are a matter of taste - we now prefer (in the culinary sense) our local porc noir de Bigorre

To be honest, I was a lttle surprised as the Berkshire ones are really quite pretty!![](upload://vQ57ufE1EC12TYqbXqdKa9Wkp6r.jpg)

To be fair, I think the alleged pigs were at Oxford not Eton

I certainly hope so - and quite recognise the type you (rightly) object to. A fair number of them in both houses of Parliament, but there were and are also a lot who do great work in many fields, usually without anyone knowing or caring where they were educated.

It would be worth going now to talk to the French Pension authorities, Norman, which you can do from 50. I am no expert but have a feeling that it is the working rights ie number of years you have worked that is taken into account in working out your pension in any country and it could be that the years working in Australia would be taken into account It is such a complex calculation if you have worked in several countries especially if one of those does not have a reciprocal agreement I am reeling from trying to unravel it all and so am making an appointment to check it all out

In the beginning I had health insurance through a Danish company, but a friend who needed to go into the local Amelie office took me along. He told me to bring an EDF bill proving residence. I am pretty sure that’s all it took. Subsequently I registered with the Maison des Artistes and pay for my health scheme and a retirement scheme through them. The French retirement will be 0 of course, but France and the US have an accord so my payments into the French system should be combined with my US account when I start applying for my Social Secuity benefits.

Like many here I think the sole real problem will be not just be the 'freezing of pension payments' but the total and irrevocable non-payment of same. It happened to my wife and I leaving Australia where the spurious 'no protocol between the two countries exist' was trotted out and still applies to any English or French person wanting to leave Australia (or New Zealand). You leave - no pension, as simple and barbaric as that.

When I first came to France as a working age person my Carte de Sejour stated clearly that I could work in 'any profession' but could not be a 'financial burden on the State'. Quite where that would leave me and my French wife now is not clear. She receives part-pensions from both UK and France having worked in the UK as well. The French one is calculated on deducting what she receives from the UK, so it is possible that she would then receive a full pension from France. I of course would receive zero from any source, except for two small Annuities, one from the UK and one from Belgium. I think these would be outside the Tax Authorities purview, at least I hope they would - small though they are.

I don't really believe we would be booted out as English and I have to admit I would be first in the queue for French Natonality that I have hummed and hawed about for far too long. Not for any pride or Nationality issues but sheer laziness in facing the French bureaucracy.

My guess would be the issuance of Residency Cards, with the usual Social responsibilities, and then life as normal. I have heard there are some 2 million British expats in Europe with every legal right to return to the UK, and I don't see how the UK could rescind the 'birthright" clause - and what a joyful scene that the return of everyone would create in the UK?

As others have said before me, the pollies on both sides have not thought this through, but the UKIP nutters have ti be the worse for considering the repercussions at street level, especially if the French entrepreneurs left to return - let alone French companies.

The problem is as we have seen recently everywhere, do we have the quality of politicians to see the effects of their knee-jerk reactions? I don't have a lot of confidence in that area either at a National or EU level.

Maybe the best idea is to 'lose' our passports and swear our names were Mohammed and get our share of the goodies on offer?

There was a day when having been at Eton, or some other schools, was seen as an automatic passport to a comfortable life. The reality these days is very different yet there are people who simply hate other people simply because they went to a school that their parents chose, or spoke in a certain way. In fact having been to such a school can in some ways be a great disadvantage now. My eldest son, who now teaches at King's College London. was intent on joining the police on their graduate scheme. The rigorous screening included a trio of inquisitors who ridiculed his Christian name and the school he had been to (a place on a hill not too far from Eton) and told him that the police did not want people like him. Maybe they were just testing his intent, but if he had been black they would not have commented on that. Maybe Sir Robert Peel was right when he said that he did not want any gentlemen police officers. I remember back in 1963, when arriving to start studying at a leading architectural college, on being interrogated by another student as to whether or not I had been to a public school, and if in the affirmative was I a homosexual. One had hoped that prejudices were less frequent than they were. Yes Mr Barclay there are by proportion as many regular people who come out of Etaon and the like as there are out of other schools. A good education, which may certainly be had at Eton, should also be able to encourage the best of human traits. (No pig jokes please!)

Yes, exactly what I think may happen but then if the 27 remaining members turn against the UK, and that has been provoked enough for it to happen, the going may not be smooth. I am actually old enough to no longer really care except that I would become a financial millstone for my family. Others are not as well positioned.

I did like some but not those who insisted I was not fit to be either a 'bedder' or walk on the same side of the pavement as them. I do have a couple of old Etonian 'friends' from back then but too many, unlike you clearly Jonathan, were not pleasant. When I later taught a few, one once told me I should not be teaching because of my accent,having grown up on a South London sink estate, I reported his cheek to his tutor (a friend) who told him that if he hoped to walk away with a degree under his belt he should look at the world around him before dismissing it or find himself sent down. He retired from the Commons in 2010 after years of being an MP who made no contribution other than occupying a seat for some years. Those are the people I mean, not those who live in the same world as the rest of us. I am assuming you are one of the latter.

Interesting one, Catherine, I thought it was only automatic if you're working here like me, how quickly did you get your carte vitale? You may make many others very jealous!