Retirement France - Health System & Dependants

Currently I am an Auto Entrepreneur running a small gite business. Thus eligible for a Carte Vitale and associated benefits. My dependants (wife & child) come under this umbrella of protection etc. Next year I will be of retirement age and will be able to draw a UK state pension.

Can anyone clarify my exact status in France if:
I inform the French authorities that I no longer wish to continue as an AE and instead want to be a retiree.
Will I still be able to keep my CV?
What will happen to my wife and child, my current dependants?
My wife is younger and not due for retirement yet and my child is severely disabled so she requires a lot of medication and care. Between my wife and I, we care for our daughter 24/7…
I assume that my easy option is to continue with the AE status and not retire within the French system.
I would prefer to retire if possible and to remove the pressure of running the gite business.
It would be useful to know the latest situation in France for ‘Non-EU’ citizens residing in France once retired.

I suspect @JaneJones can give you sound advice on this.

Yes Jane will probably know.

I’m not sure - but my understanding is that as long as you are resident in France and have been paying your cotisations in France you will have to claim your pension in France - in fact you could have done this age 62. As a French pensioner your entitlements to health etc benefits will just continue as before.

I am not sure about claiming a French pension. I have only been in France since 2016 and I have never had an intention to claim from the French in relation to a French pension.

what is your current residency status in France?
Do you have a Carte de Sejour (and what type WARP/duration?)
Those answers may also be significant in order to provide guidance.

You must have been paying cotisations to URSSAF/CARSAT etc whilst being an auto entrepreneur, everyone who works pays in and eventually will be entitled to a pension here however small. I worked in the UK previously before having my family andmoving here so I have been awarded a UK pension payment and as I have worked in France and paid in over the years, I also get two french pension payments and my late husband’s pension which I have had since he died. The french side does not interact with the UK, they are different entities and different systems but they do check records for both countries. The carte vitale is your social security registration and is yours for as long as you legally live here and all the benefits that encompasses regarding your family. The french pension age is going up, one of mine will be a year after the UK one starts and as for health, you pay in, are legally resident with a cds then nothing changes.

Your pension caisse will contact you when the time is near to start the dossier to claim any pension against your cotisations you must have paid in.

If you are over 62 then you are at French pension age. The question you need to check is how many trimestres you have, as 6 years cotisations is not a huge amount. I think there is a minimum beneath which the UK will remain your competent state, but otherwise it will be France that provides a pension (however minute) and the UK pension will be a ‘supplement’.

Whichever way round you retain your rights to a CV as a permanent french resident, as do your wife and child. Please do not worry about that. Does explain quite a bit. Also CIPAV site which I will try to find.

As an add on, if you don’t reach UK retirement age until next year you can top up your NI contributions to gain a better pension. Worth checking what you have built up to date and cost of top-ups.

Before reaching UK state pension @gregca , you can, if needed, make voluntary NI contributions and pay for gaps in your record for the last 6 years.
Employed in France, you pay Class 2.
More information here -

Thank you Jane
I am fully paid up for a UK basic state pension and this will be my main pension. I have no intention of making a claim for a pension from the French and hoped that this would be favourable to our continued claim on their Health System.

As an aside what do you think of Not having a ‘top-up’ mutual health insurer? I have been working out the input versus the output from this and we appear to be in negative territory…

Why would you not have a mutuelle if you have a disabled daughter who needs much care and medication ?

Because many chronic conditions are covered by an ALD so no need.

This starts to get very muddy. If you have built up a right to a french pension then France is your competent state for healthcare, like it or not. So you would not be eligible for an S1 on getting your UK state pension.

On another thread someone posed the question of whether they could just not apply for their french pension, and apply for the S1 from the UK and continue to benefit from reduced prélèvement sociale. No one knew for sure, but the view was that this would become obvious during the application process and the Uk would reject paying for someone when they didn’t legally have to.

Whether or not you apply for a French pension makes no difference to being able to claim for health cover. All French residents have that right.

I have hospital only mutuelle, much cheaper and removes the potentially hugely expensive risk. It is individual as depends on circumstances.

but on the other hand…

Although the State formally picks up the charges for treatment of an ALD, there remain a number of charges the responsibility of the patient.

Use the Insurance link in the banner above the topic heading or contact @fabien to obtain more detailed information before making a choice of whether to take out a mutuelle


I think the OP probably has one if able to calculate a negative return!

And yes I have to pay for non-ALD stuff. But there’s not much of that. Luckily :pleading_face: I have an ALD that requires annual cardiology, pneumanology, dermatology and dental check ups. Plus loads of blood tests, so tends to cover most things!

I think it’s 10 years contributions in France - if so Greg will indeed claim his UK pension. Sounds like he could also claim a very small French one - but it is essential that he gets professional advice on this, because I seem to remember there is a possibility that if he gets both, he will then have to pay French social charges on his UK pension - thus possibly ending up out of pocket.


never safe to assume… always best to provide facts from which one can investigate further.
The OP will know what their situation is but also, it helps others with a similar enquiry since this is not a specific Q&A resource but a discussion forum :wink:

Thank you all for your inputs which are relevant.
As always happens things quickly go off at tangents to my initial enquiry and questions.
I simply wanted to know how it worked if I opted not to be an AE at age 66.
Do we keep our CV and not put us all out in the cold re: Health cover.
Then the Mutual question arose. My wife and I hardly if at all have recourse to use this. Our daughter due to her poor health has constant requirements for hospital and medical treatments but these seem to be covered by the French NI equivalent so again nothing is required from the Mutual. Several years ago I had the misfortune to require a stay in the hospital. I asked about the Mutual and if it would help (private room, upgrade) and they looked at me blankly so it still was not used. I have tried to use it on odd occasions at the pharmacy and then I have been told the said item ‘Not covered’. So I do question its purpose and monthly/yearly cost and think I could have been saving this money in the bank for a “Rainy Day” - emergency! We would have had many thousands in the account now… So I am seriously thinking to stop paying this. has anyone else reached this conclusion and actually done this?

Back to the original enquiry. Just to muddy the water I am also due a pension from the German Rentenversicherung for 20 years payments into their system so the UK plus the German means I should get over 1500 Euros per month without recourse to the French.

if you been in hospital your mutuelle will have covered the percentage which is always due… or else you would have been billed and paid it yourself.
likewise for your daughter… if you’ve not paid bills, the mutuelle will have done so automatically.

why not take advice on what is covered at the moment via your policy… and think about what might not be necessary.
eg you don’t need a single room so no n eed to have that option on your contract.

I’d suggeat talking to Fabien, send details of what you have now and ask if they have a quote that can better it.

Could you have been receiving more than you think from your mutual? If it’s tiers payant a lot may have been paid without you knowing.

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