Sorting out pensions rights before leaving France

Hi all,

First post here on SFN.

Apologies if this has been asked before, but I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on the steps to take with regards to pensions rights before leaving France.

I have been paying into the French state pension system for the past four years. Can anyone advise on the relevant body to contact?

I am based in Lyon and currently considering two jobs offers: one in Belgium, another in Australia.

Many thanks in advance,


Hello James

Like you I have been paying into a French pension for nearly 4 years – I am not sure if there is a minimum period before we qualify for a pension. However here is some information about pensions.

  1. If you have worked in France, you must be a citizen of a signatory country (with whom France has an international social security agreement). Then the EU pension rules apply. This includes the 27 EU countries.
  2. There is no choice between a “proportional calculation” where each country in which you have a pension will be taken into account or a “national” French calculation. The one that pays the most will be offered to you.
  3. The French pension will never be paid automatically – you must apply for it in plenty of time because the administration can be lengthy.
  4. You can get your career statement etc from and if you are over 54 years old this is recommended. Most of the information in this reply came from that site but might need updating.
  5. If you are living in France when you apply for your pension, you can contact a regional pension fund, relevant to the last place of work. If you are living in a country where community rules apply, you can apply to the pension fund of your country of residence. If you are living in a country outside of EU rules, you can apply to the fund to whom you made your most recent contributions.
  6. You cannot draw the pension before you are aged 62 unless you are one of the 100,000 people affected by President Holland’s new law for those who started work early.
  7. You may be asked on a regular basis for proof of existence to obtain your French pension.
  8. As I understand it, community rules only apply whilst you are in the EU - being in Australia does not, in my opinion, prevent you from getting the French pension - simply some of the rules would not apply.

Hope that helps.

Please let me know how you get on.