Auto entrepeneur and pension age

Hi there,

I have been reading all the posts about changes to the AE system, and also posts concerning pensions.

When my partner and I moved to France 6 years ago I had taken early retirement and redundancy and already had about 35yrs worth of NIC's. My partner also took redundancy, she had about 23 yrs worth of NIC's

After 2 years with our health care covered by what we had paid in the UK, we decided to get married and start a small business. After attending our business training course at the Chambre de Metiers we "signed on" the unemployment register and after 6 months set up an SARL to run a very small brewery. The main purpose of this was to keep us in the system for health care etc.

My partner was the gerant and I the cojoint colaborateur.

After a couple of years of paying all our profits to accountants and book keepers, and with the advent of the AE scheme my partner closed down the SARL and I set up as an AE selling dog food, and making and selling beer.

I have been doing this for about 3yrs, and have paid enough cotisations each year to qualify for the relevant amount of pension trimestres, and we continue to have Carte Vitales. We also pay a top up insurance.

Now for my question - I will be 62 in December and so will have reached French retirement age.
I already have enough NIC's for a full UK OAP when I reach 65. Is there any point me continuing with the business from a pensions and/or health cover point of view? Would there be any advantage to my partner if I packed up as an AE and she set up as an AE (or in some other structure depending on what happens to AE) ? Our main concern is being in the system for healthcare, but she will need about 3 more years NIC's for a full UK pension when she finally gets it age 67. Any advice welcome!

Top up is date related and I (appropriate swear words) missed it whenever it was.

The irony with me is that I was on 'shuttle' between the UK where I was a resident with house and all, but receiving grants so paying all bar taxes, was shared in Germany in what was then West Berlin and also resident paying all my dues from the same grants and mostly working for both in South America. The irony is that have been resident in Berlin for as many years as I was that I am entitled to a pension from them, minimum rate but still two and a half times as much as from the UK where because of other times out of the country, etc, I only managed to tot up 22 years contributions. So I have looked into it and my forecast was grim, together nothing to write home about.

Like deborah, my OH is Swiss and that is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Hi again, this is what Zena posted in the pensions discussion "I emailed RSI to ask them what turnover had to be declared by trimester for my pension contributions to be validated (as in France your pension works on how many trimesters you have validated) and the emailed me back saying that a turn over of 1800€ per trimester, 3600€ per semester or 7200€ per annum was needed for it to be counted. When you are self employed your are not entiltiled to unemployment when you stop being self-employed, but I didnt ask about health care."

That is the figure for pensions - perhaps the 6000 is for health care? Can anyone tell us?

Thanks Brian,

we make very little money from the business, so it is primarily about keeping in the system and making sure our health cover is in place at least until I hit 65 when I should be covered via my UK pensioner status plus a top up.

It was more whether it would be beneficial for my partner to be making contributions into the system here rather than me, or to be working in the system here so that she can pay vol NIC's to top up her UK pension entitlement. she is 15 yrs younger, and falls into the group of people who won't get their pensions until 67.

Hi Deborah,

I thought it was higher than that - there is a post on here somewhere from Zena Sabestini I think, that gives the quarterly return figures required - I will go back and look for it and post the info here.

Hi Andrew, yes it is 30 yrs NICs, and I have more than that. When you go on the government site to calculate roughly what you have then there are options where some years are added for people who have been carers or had time out for childcare etc. My partners estimate said that most people get 3 yrs "free" top up - not sure if that is date related.

I have been told by HMRC that 30 years worth of NIC contributions are necessary for a full UK pension.

looks like a couple of questions there - and i have had various answers

I am not coming out of uk system but swiss - but have learnt this

AE gives us basic health care and then option to top up with additional insurance.

as and when my (swiss) pension kicks in - down the line a way - i could get a french top up for years done here - altho i am not clear what "enough cotisations" are to qualify and would be grateful for info for an income range - i believe the minimum is 6,000 euros per year at the moment can anyone confirm that?

as far as i can see we need to watch pension forecasts because yes the governments of each country are looking to catch up on their debt by lowering them. we need to keep checking in.

coverage in the basic health care in french system seems ok for the moment .

i dont know what the retirement age is here at the moment - but it may change anyway.

i am actually a positive person and believe the best is to stay in touch and exchange info.

I think it is a very tricky question. Firstly, French retirement age is when they kick out functionaries. Farmers, builders and so on go on for many years. If you can afford to live on your UK pension fine, but look out for changes. A question about people living abroad has been raised already by this government, they would never dare stop it but pegging or something like that is always on the cards. Ask for your prediction to see how much you will get, then bear taxation in mind. On balance it looks like continuing the business is a safe option. Remember you do not need to do or sell a lot, just pay your quarterly dues and all is fine. I am exactly a year away from my UK pension, lost my private one in one of the collapses and have a younger partner and children, so my situation is different BUT I have no choice but work, am an AE too and have no idea when, if ever, I can chuck it in. Get very sound advice all round. That's my tuppence worth.