Retirement, CARSAT, DWP and S1. Utter chaos

Bear with me! This might be long!

My wife reached UK State Pension retirement age last September, and whilst we have lived in France, she has had a little job for three hours a week for four years with the Mairie. That means, according to the DWP paperwork, that she should apply for her UK State Pension through the French authorities.

This we started off last July. We visited CARSAT and completed the paperwork, returned it to them and they sent it off to a specialist unit (for foreigners) in Toulouse. We heard nothing, except we had a request for further paperwork which we supplied.

Eventually, our Maire, on hearing of our problem, rang the Toulouse office and ascertained that the French authorities had sent a dossier to Newcastle on 15 November. Having had no reply, they say they sent the dossier again on 15 December.

So we rang Newcastle. They seemed to say that the dossier had been received but not acted upon, and told my wife to re-apply using the form that she would have used if she hadn't had a little job over here.

This she did, sending the usual copies of birth and marriage certificates.

Last week, we received notification of her pension, a payment of monies due since September was made to our bank, and an S1 for her was enclosed. But only covering her. Where was the S1 to cover me? We had always understood that when one partner was covered, the other was covered, too.

We rang Newcastle. The DWP is now saying that because my wife worked in France, it is the French who are responsible for my wife's health cover, and that they shouldn't have sent an S1 at all. My wife explained that if she is due any pension at all it will be peanuts. The DWP lady said she would look into it.

So ... Who is responsible for my wife's healthcare? If the British, will they eventually issue me with an S1 under my wife's cover? If the French, do they know (as presumably the whole thing depends upon Toulouse and Newcastle talking to each other!)? And why doesn't anyone on either side ever tell us anything?! (We had no replies to our web messages to Toulouse asking for clarification).

I qualify for the UK State Pension in my own right from October 2016.

In the meantime, we continue to pay the contributions sociales for our health insurance (plus the complémentaire, of course).

Oh, and by the way, we are, I think, supposed to approach another organisation, IRCANTEC, who manage pensions for ex-public service employees. Applying to them essentially involves sending off the same things as we did to CARSAT, I believe, but we were told that the payment would be so low as to result in a one-off payment, perhaps of around 30 euros! We had thought it probably wasn't worth the hassle, so I confess we haven't applied.

Any comments and advice gratefully read!

Utter Chaos when we are in the EU. So what is the point of the UK paying £30m (?) per day? In all other areas I see no homogeneity of systems, no seamlessness, no free movement of anything ... what is the point of the EU apart from to create administrative paper shuffling jobs?

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Hi Peter, I honestly don’t know. The Social Worker I was passed on to by preggie English one here, does apparently specialise in cases for personnes Agee, in more complicated circumstances, so yes it’s possible it’s something she put in motion for me, probably told me and I hadn’t understood. I get the means testing, but that’s not the problem. I’ll find out soon enough, next week I hope. I’ll just email her the ref and tel no. of the person who sent it and let her enquire for me! That’s the sort of help the AS’s are giving me. I don’t know or understand my way round Caf system and procedures in that respect.

Hi Shirley - Have you by any chance been applying for ASPA which is a benefit paid to certain people over the age of 65 ? Qualifications are means tested with many other conditions thrown in.

Today I received a letter from l’assurance Retraite in a Carsat printed envelope, quoting (articles L.815-7 et R.815-3 du Code de la security sociale) I think it’s about pension. don’t know why, it’s nothing to do with UK gov one.

Oh well, Another email to the stand in AS who’s French, to find out what it’s about! If anyone’s got a clue pls tell me. It’s a letter of rejection of ‘my demand’ Quoi. I’ve never heard of Carsat, exc on these discussions!

In the DTA between France and Australia French residents are exempt from French charges and CGT if they sell their Australian property within 5 years of becoming a French resident. I am surprised the UK doesn't have similar arrangement.

Agree with Andrew - I would have thought it would definitely be France responsable for health care costs.


DTA is double taxation agreement/treaty. You can download the English/UK version if you search HMRC double taxation treaty France.

Your UK chargeable gain will be calculated along the normal rules as I recall (a few weeks since I went through it with a focus on MY circumstances) - again get the helpsheets etc from the UK govt or HMRC websites - shout if you're struggling (I'm really busy - in fact give me your home email address and I'll email you them rather than attaching here which seems to cause problems). The chargable gain is then simply apportioned to that element attributable to the period since 6 April 2015. The you pay 18% or 28%. I forget what the French CGT is called but obviously you can do the calculation for that pretty easily once you have the information on it. If UK is lower then I think you pay the UK their share and France the French element less the UK tax - or maybe you just deduct the double-taxation set-off in one lump sum elsewhere. Sorry but I only move residency in June so I have never done a French tax return but you get the gist? But as a French tax resident you certainly have to declare it in France and pay tax on it as appropriate.

Just to be clear, I am not a tax adviser and am just passing on my understanding. May be worth getting professional advice or at least the booklets on tax published by The Connection.



Paul, re the UK CGT, you will get a good idea of it from the attached. You should only be liable proportionately from April 2015 so the French tax is likely to be higher and likely to drive the charge under the DTA.

Nothing new then, unfortunately. It seems from the latest marches that what you are going through is normal. the average delay seems to be around a year after retiring to receiving something from the rsi and that's after 40 years cotisations...! As for health care costs, sounds to me that it should be France not the UK if your wife's worked here...?

Courage !

I got the S1 in the same post I got a letter telling me I wasn’t entitled to it. However I was. (You can expect anything from Newcastle) There was also a bizarre conversation with a man in Newcastle who insisted I had been living in Crewe, I have never been there, and actually had been living in France. Before that I had spent some time receiving horrendous bills from URSAAF for medical premiums No one I knew was charged in this way.
Finally I was told of the S1 to which I had been entitled for some time. Eventually, another seven months later I got back my premiums from URSAAF. I had not been working in France. I simply became of UK pensionable age when I was here.
Since you have been working in France then you must pay to RSI? for your medical needs? Or maybe URSAAF? Depends how you are classified. You can enjoy the benefits of the S1 once you stop work.