The Suspense!

We also pay 1300€ pa for mutuelle so it could be 2300€ pa which is quite a lot when retired! But nothing is clear at the moment.

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S1 becomes void after Brexit - PUMA Cotisations are not levied on Pensions only on a certain amount over the bareme on Capital income.

AIUI PUMA cotisations are not levied on state pensions - but private pensions are fair game I believe?

Yes that is correct but if you also have income from investments then you do pay on that. Some people seem to think that just by being receipt of a pension it excludes you from these charges altogether which it doesn’t if you have other sources of income. We are not wealthy and only have small pensions but do have savings that we now draw an income from. Who knows what will happen eventually.

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Can you point me to the legislation that makes that significant difference in types of pensions please Paul as l have a Government Pension and state pension and have been told neither are subject to cotisations under PUMA - mind you it was a chap at our tax office who told me this, not someone from the French health service​:confused::confused::confused:

My understanding is pensions whether state, private (SIPP) or occupational are excluded from any charges and any income taxable in the UK is excluded but investment income is included. But maybe I’ve got it muddled up.

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No, I think the advice you have been given is correct - government pensions are, indeed, treated the same as state pensions, as long as they are actually paid by the government, for example NHS pensions don’t count because they are handle/paid by a private company.

Most private pensions are investment vehicles anyway as are most company pensions these days.

It has come up on the forum previously - I doubt my French is good enough to find chapter and verse in the regulations. Does SF not have a handy pensions expert?

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I guess then you also have a french pension? So wouldn’t pay cotisations. The issue that is not completely clear is whether that applies to people who don’t have french pensions but just UK ones.

I think, at the moment, having an S1 means not having to pay cotisations on pensions, that’s pretty clear.

I also think I might be muddled on income tax vs social charges on the different pension sources (sorry about that but it is a bit on the complicated side and further complicated by dual taxation relief).

But as I (still) understand it if you don’t have an S1 and have not paid into the French social system while working, social charges do get levied on foreign pensions.

Happy to be corrected, of course - I only have secondary (or possibly even tertiary) sources because my research has been on the English expat web sites - but every one I have read says some variation on “exempt if S1 held” - which rather implies “not exempt if S1 not held”.

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In answer to your question, yes I also have a French pension and comments read seem to suggest that it would be exempt from cotisations but not sure that this would be the trigger to exempt cotisations from all income such as uk pension both state and private, or foreign and domestic rental income?
As previously stated we do not pay cotisations on foreign income following a “chat” to the impot by our accountant regarding already in place bilateral agreement to which they conceded and refunded.
All in all I am still confused and am resigned to watching and waiting to see if any further demands for “tax” payment arrives later this year but for now I am happy to pay the one we already have

I honestly think the uk made a bad mistake in making healthcare free at the point of delivery for everyone. They’ve created a nation where people feel outrage at the notion of taking any personal responsibility for the most important thing in life - good health.


The idea was that it allowed access to those that needed it regardless of ability to pay - a truly egalitarian system (and anecdotally there was a huge initial demand from people who had been living with severe chronic health problems but prevented from seeking help by poverty).

It was the right decision in 1948

Whether it remains the right decision today is more debatable.

Having lived in France for 11 years and experienced how the health system here works then I have to agree. There is so much more responsibility here to be in involved which makes you acutely more aware of your health rather than a nanny system. Of course there are systems in place for those who cannot pay but if your income exempts you from such a system then so be it. I feel that one day the UK NHS will have to go the same way but that really is a political hot potato that no party wants to take on.

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One day we will wake up and discover the NHS has gone - people will only then realise what they lost but it will be too late to regain it.

Rather like Brexit.

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Not sure that’s my experience, given the quantities of antibiotics and pain killers French doctors seem happy to hand out (and their French patients seem to expect?). Also, look at the queues in pharmacies because people prefer to go there and discuss their ailments rather than pay for a doctor’s consultation.

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Not sure it’s the 1€ or whatever you pay towards the consultation that puts people off. I actually think they are using the system better. Why take up a doctor’s time for something that the pharmacist is equally well qualified to advise on? The tranining to become a pharmacist is high level, shame to never give them a chance to use it! I believe that even in the UK now there are attempts to wean people off the knee jerk reaction of “must go and see the doctor” regardless of what the problem is - didn’t they set up an NHS telephone helpline a while back, and I have heard that some doctors surgeries now do triage by phone to sift out the patients that need a face to face appointment with a doctor and those that don’t.


I think there should be some charge per visit regardless, it would stop time wasters, and non visits, it does need to charge foreigners visiting as every other country does.

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If you’ve worked on the ‘front line’ of the NHS, as I have since I started work in it in 1956, you would better understand that terms like “time-waster” are prejudicial to the lives of ordinary patients and take no account of the individual circumstances that may bear on their use of the NHS.

Fortunately, NHS staff don’t use such terms nor do they make such judgements on service users. They are overwhelmingly ethical and thoughtful people with a broad and deep understanding of the human condition, and well able to deal patiently with people who haven’t.

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I asked the question as it is otherwise very curious as to why you don’t have an S1 if you have a UK state pension. But having a French pension trumps the UK one of course.

So absolutely nothing should change for you.

I agree with much of what you’ve said about the deteriorations that have taken place in popular perceptions of the NHS, and in some attrition in personal responsibility for health in the minds of some, but not all, NHS users.

How to manage expectations against a culture of consumerist entitlement and instant gratification of perceived needs is very challenging.

But nothing will be achieved by ‘naming-and-shaming’ and other divisive tactics so deeply entrenched in the culture, beloved and gleefully fostered by the media, in politics, and increasingly in education.

How might it be otherwise? Time and resources are fast running out?