Declaring retirement as Auto-entrepreneur

So I am now officially requesting my retirement here in France. Timely, right? I’m a retired American and an auto-entrepreneur and have taught English part-time in Grandes Ecoles for ten years now. A bit of salaried work, but mostly as AE. Happen to be 69…
I’m finding it terribly complicated: so many associations involved–CARSAT, laretraite, URSSAF, AGRIC-ARRCO, Cipav etc.
I contested my contributions to URSSAF which then told me to report them to CARSAT. CARSAT says to address with “laRetraite”!
I could essentially spend HOURS combing all these sites trying to figure it all out.
I simply want everything to be aligned before they put the official “stamp” on everything. And to be paid an accurate sum.
YES! There needs to be a better way in France. It shouldn’t be so complicated to simply apply.
Side note: I have no sympathy for the current protestors. You cannot retire until 67 in USA and MANY choose to continue to work because healthcare is SO expensive. Many elderly have to choose between buying food or buying medication. And there is NO safety net. The French have no idea how GOOD they have it here all the way around.
Does anybody have recent experience here applying for retirement as an AE? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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That’s irrelevant, from our point of view. Why should the fact that your country is awful have any effect on us. Think how lucky you are to be here and not there :slightly_smiling_face:
Nobody eating up all their dinner ever made a blind bit of difference to the starving children in Africa.


All I can tell you is you need to apply to Carsat at least 6 months before you wish to retire and they will send the forms etc. You say ten years work here, well it is measured in full trimestres in France with a minimum number to get anything at all. Agirc-arcco are the same, offered me a pittance for the number of trimestres I had so didn’t bother with them. Might try again this year when I contact Carsat again as waiting for a year added more money each month to what I would have had if I had taken it now.

Vero, I was simply sharing my point of view as a comparison. Wasn’t attempting to garner support or otherwise. I read many comments today on the thread re. current protests where Brits and others were doing the same. I have chosen to live here and remain here for many reasons.

Thanks Shiba. You’re right re. time worked vs trimesters etc. Points and all that. Many factors play into the calculations. I’ll be lucky to cover my monthly electricity bill with the pittance I anticipate. Try applying again.

As I say to lots of people, head to your nearest France Services and see if they can help. May not involve themselves in pensions of course, but is not could well have some advice to offer.

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I retired as an AE at the end of February 2022 after 15 years in the French system. I used the site linked here to apply, nowhere else.

I applied six months ahead of the actual date, as advised. Over 18 months later (& 12 months past the retirement date) I have yet to receive any money, despite my dossier being complete. They did get in touch 2 weeks ago to ask for a copy of my titre de séjour, telling me that the money would happen soon.

Still waiting…

I actually went into their local office before I moved south and had a long chat with the conseilleur there who was frankly useless so I contacted my assistante sociale and she had a contact at the head office for the whole region who then wrote to me and put me in the picture regarding how to apply and the amounts I would be due. I shall contact them again during this summer and start the whole dossier off although they did say they would hold it on ice for now as they had all the info required. At least you will or should get the back pay in due course but once again, I think these office workers are using the old lockdown chestnut as a well worn excuse for what is really bad office work. Hope you get sorted soon.

As it is, I can’t retire on a full pension in the French system until I’m 67 anyway, so the whole demonstration thing - meh.

As an entrepreneur individuel, I am also dreading the day when I’ll have to attempt to go round the houses trying to get my pension request in. With a bit of luck though, the government might by that time have finally got to a “guichet unique”.

What does one live on in the meantime ?
I mean, the bills don’t stop coming in on the day you officially retire, do they ?
I’d understand a delay of a few months, maybe 6 at most, but 12+ months and counting ?

Yup same here :slightly_smiling_face: I think the system needs sorting and while I won’t be out demonstrating I entirely support people’s right to do so. I don’t approve of the casseurs or the cynical politicking going on though.


I wonder that re my UK state pension, which I have been told the first payment is likely to be 23 weeks late.

If only the demonstrators knew what lies ahead of them when they actually want to retire! It’s a nightmare.
I am surprised to learn that AE people expect any sort of pension at all. You have to turn over quite a bit to get a trimestre registered. After 5 years as an AE doing translations and writing work I never managed to earn enough for a full trimestre. It was just a way of working legally.

There are three other pitfalls that immigrant workers face in their quest for a French pension.

  1. The famous ‘temporary’ sécu number that one is given when first starting to work. Any contributions logged under this temporary number are lost for ever.
  2. Working for the State as a vacataire (as opposed to a fonctionnaire). I worked for 15 years in various French universities teaching law, economics and English. When I finally asked for my pension at 67 the relevant caisse - IRCANTEC - sent me a nice letter telling me that I would receive the princely sum of €80*. The asterisk indicated that this was an annual payment.
  3. It is no longer possible to speak face to face with a bureaucrat: everything is on-line or by phone.

The other side effect of this whole 62 years old retirement business is that it creates and reinforces a latent ageism in the French pysche. What! You’re 64 and you want to work! Are you mad! The only way one can continue working is by creating one’s own company: it’s absurd.

I am 74 and still working … which is probably no bad thing.

I believe for profession libérale you need to turnover around 2 500€ for one trimestre. I would not describe that as a very high annual turnover. For full 4 trimestres you only need a turnover of slightly than 10 000€ a year. But as I understand it, if you already have your 4 trimestres for the year from other work, your AE turnover will not add anything because you cannot have more than 4 trimestres credited for one year.

I just started mine and its been paid on time. They pay at the end of the month, not the beginning so you need to keep four weeks to live on until it arrives.

This is indeed another problem. I have more than 4 years of ‘double’ contributions when I racked up 8 trimestres a year … only to find that only 4 trimestres count! It seems logical to me that a person will be able to work harder and longer when he/she is young … but all this effort is not rewarded in the French system. I have no idea how it is in other countries.

I am fairly sure that in the UK, one year’s contributions never counts for more than one year’s entitlement no matter how hard you work and how many jobs you have and how much you earn. And your pension is based entirely on how many years’ entitlement you have, it has no relation to earnings.
In France, the higher your earnings over your career the higher your pension when you get it… up to a point.


Gosh, 2500 for 1 third of a year (it is a third, not a quarter?*). Here I have to say, credit where (maybe) due, paying 180£ gets you a whole year of UK state pension. (voluntary class 2). Sounds like you should do it if you can…

i’m curious, is there any equivalent in France to paying voluntary SS/NI equivalent contributions to build up pension rights - or does one not get anything if making less than 7.5K euro / year?

PS earning say 7K £ / year UK gets you a year’s pension credit - and one doesn’t have to then even pay the 180£… which may be not very progressive, earn a little more, pay less… but ever it was.

Speaking from a frontalier perspective of course.

  • edit - I’m thinking ‘tri’ as in 1/3 but in english we have for human pregnancy the first to third trimesters - about 9 months so 1/4?

edit 2 - rereading,

Doh - so a France trimestre is a quarter of a year?

Thank you Badger. That’s crazy that it has been so long and they are now just asking for your CDS?! I did indeed apply via site you referenced. Then I received acknowledgments from other associations. Have been told “they” will get back to me if they need anything else. Funny and maddening–I’ve been divorced since 1988 (uploaded my divorce decree)–but they requested my marriage certificate. Dumbfounds me! Prefectures never requested it even for my 10-year resident permit.
Do hope you see some money soon. Fortunately, I can survive without my French pension.

So I worked as a Vacataire AND as an AE over the years. Because of delayed payments (Vacataire system) and billing monthly as AE, my income was not consistent monthly. It was skewed all over the place. So I only qualify for some trimesters, not all, for any given year. Same deal with points earned. Even though my annual income was about same each year. Forced to quit at public Unis at 66 so I continued with private schools. Feel it’s not a fair system–especially for people like me.