Social charges

Does anyone know of a website giving any information regarding whether you 'have' to pay into the French system or can continue to pay in the UK one?

All i can find is information about 'if' you are in the french system but nothing telling you whether you 'have' to be in it. The fact that they say 'if' suggests choice to me.

I ask regarding my husband as he works and pays taxes abroad and is classed as 'non-resident' for tax purposes here, and yes we do file tax returns here every year, we also have private health care & pension arrangements, and when we reach retirement age will receive our state pension, such as it will be by then, from the UK not France. I don't work so it doesn't affect me.

His current employer has asked if he wants contributions paying to the UK or to France as they will pay them for him. If he paid into the UK it would be good as it would top up his pension years.

What i've read in the past, when we were moving here, said that as long as you support yourselves and have private healthcare then you don't have to pay into the French system. But i can't find this information again to corroborate it.

Before people start moaning about trying to get out of paying. We're not trying to get out of paying, we just want to know what we HAVE to pay and where we have a CHOICE.

If anyone know's anything about this i would be very grateful for the information

Hi, dont know if this will help Pam...but husband and I have our main residence in France. He is retired...and lives in France most of the year. We pay tax in France as we rent out an apartment, and OHs UK private pension is taxed in France....I on the other hand, live in the UK...(we have a flat) work and pay tax in the UK....spend more than 6 months a year in the pay nothing in France. I have NHS carry an EHIC card as any tourist would when in France. For me its simple as I work in the NHS so am taxed via PAYE...but it helps me as it continues paying into my pension. So as a couple we are treated I suppose you are as well. There is no choice in our situation, I work in the UK and must pay my taxes there....Nick lives in France, and must pay his taxes in France...

Hi Pam,

I would check into this a bit further. I think there is a special arrangement in this case for Airbus to get the skilled workers for a period of time. Where you pay the social charges or NI is decided by where you are living and actually doing the work. If you are working from home in France for a UK employer then you and your employer need to pay French social charges. You would be okay on a temporary basis or a proven secondment by your UK company for a couple of years but otherwise you need to be paying French social charges. The NI charges are much cheaper so would be far preferable if possible.


I cannot answer the substance of your question, but you also asked about a website. I find the website to be a great one for refuting rumours and answering questions, as it is an official site:


Thanks Elaine, You're a star !!

You're not far from us if you're based in Toulouse?

No sorry Pam, it must be a european rule because I know it affects the Spanish and Germans working for Airbus as well as the Brits. There's a contact number listed here on the governments website that may be able to help.

Thanks Elaine. don't suppose you have any info/website etc about this rule?

My husband works for Airbus. We pay tax in France but national insurance in the UK. Apparently you can do this for a maximum of 10 years and then you have to pay into the system of the country you're living in. If you return to your home country to work for a year the clock will be reset and you have another 10 years of being able to pay into your home countries system.

Hi Tracey, thanks for the info, but, no i'm not working in france, it's purely for my husband i'm asking.

All the info you read talks about either working in France or retiree's, i can't find anything for working outside of France.

When we were living in the UK but he was working abroad he didn't pay NI contributions in the UK, just tax.

Usually you pay NI or social charges in the country you work, but his employers want to pay it elsewhere, presumably because it's more expensive in the country he's working in.

Hi Pam,

here is an answer about income tax declarations for you direct from the government website. i imagine most people on SFN will fall into the first category. IE if your other half lives in France, you are considered to live in France and must make a tax declaration even if tax is paid in another country.

Social charges are different altogether is that what you are referring to, I would imagine that these rules for 'inactif' apply as the other section refers to as 'actif' and defines this as below

Séjour durant les 5 premières années

Conditions pour un droit au séjour

Pour disposer d'un droit au séjour en qualité de travailleur, le citoyen européen ou suisse doit pouvoir justifier l'exercice d'une activité professionnelle en France.

And obviously your husband is not working in France.

If you are working in France though, you have no choice, is that the information you are looking for, I'm not sure it exists without going into really heavy legal stuff? Its a bit like saying, I live and work in the UK, where does it say I have to pay tax and NI in the UK? Looking at it logically though, if you were in the UK do you think you should have the choice to pay into the Portuguese system for example? That's what Google/Starbucks/Amazon etc are all working at the moment but they have very expensive lawyers :-)