Periods abroad : how are these taken into account?

Do you have current or past employment outside of France? Your pension entitlements under France’s general Social Security scheme will be determined by your circumstances. 

Your status in the foreign country

You may either have been hired directly in the foreign country or have been posted abroad.

If you are a “posted worker,” your company will continue to pay contributions into France’s general Social Security scheme. Your retirement pension will be calculated as if you had never left France. The coordination-based calculation rules that appear on this page do not apply to you.

However, these rules do apply to you if you have a local employment contract. In this case, any periods accrued abroad will be taken into account on the basis of the Social Security agreements that have been signed between France and other countries.

More information is available online from France’s Center for European and International Social Security Coordination (Cleiss). 

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N.B.

You can check the entitlements you have accrued in France by opening a personal account and viewing your employment history (“relevé de carrière.”). While “relevés de carrière” currently do not contain information on periods accrued in other countries, this does not mean that they will not be taken into account.

International agreements: the different scenarios

How periods of employment abroad are taken into account depends on the countries involved.
Your retirement pension can be calculated to take account of your entire career, including periods abroad, if you have worked:

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Please note

If you have worked in several countries with which France has signed a Social Security agreement, there will not be a single calculation (covering all of the periods you accrued in all of the foreign countries in which you have worked). Your retirement pension will be calculated agreement by agreement. The same is true if you have worked in the European Union and in one or more countries with an agreement.

 

In addition, if you have worked both in a European Union (EU) member State, in Switzerland, and in a European Economic Area (EEA) country, either Iceland, Norway, or Liechtenstein, your French retirement pension will be calculated to take account either of your periods in the European Union + Switzerland, or in the European Union + the European Economic Area. It is not possible to totalize the periods accrued in the EU + the EEA + Switzerland.

You will be paid the higher amount. The country that was not taken into account can pay you the proportion of the pension you earned there in accordance with its own rules.

If you have worked in a country that has not signed a Social Security agreement with France, your retirement pension will be calculated in each country, without taking account of the periods accrued in the other country. 

If you have only had self-employed status in France, Social Security agreements only apply to the following locations: Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, Morocco, New Caledonia, Polynesia, Quebec, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, South Korea, the United States, and Uruguay.

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To learn more

For detailed information on your pension entitlements on the basis of your employment abroad, please refer to the brochure entitled “Pension information for expats.