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Retiring abroad

Residing outside France? Here you will find a range of pointers and guidance for a better understanding of your entitlements and the paperwork involved.

Standard paperwork

Change of address, moving abroad 

You can draw your pension while living abroad. If you are already drawing your pension and choose to move abroad, you will need to provide your new address as well as any new change in banking information by logging into your personal account to access our online service Report a change in mailing address or banking information (Signaler un changement de coordonnées postales ou bancaires). Your pension can either be paid into your French bank account, or you can request that it be transferred directly to your foreign bank account. Check with your bank to find out what fees may be involved.

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Please note

If you are receiving the Solidarity Allowance for the Elderly (Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées/ ASPA) or the Additional Disability Allowance (Allocation supplémentaire d’invalidité/ ASI), please be aware that eligibility for these benefits is based on residency in France.

Payment of these benefits will stop if you move to another country. When you return, you can submit a new application.

  • To learn more about ASI and Aspa (french)

Proof of existence

If you are residing in another country and drawing a (personal or survivor’s) retirement pension from the French social security system’s general scheme, you will receive a proof of existence form (“Certificat de vie”) each year.  

Whether or not you are a French citizen, you will need to have this form filled out by the appropriate local authority in your country of residence (e.g. town hall, police station, etc.) and send it back each year. Please refer to our map to determine which local authority to contact.

Carte des autorités locales compétentes

Use our “Submit my proof of existence” (“Transmettre mon certificate de vie”) service to receive and submit your proof of existence to all of your retirement pension funds at the same time. You will receive email notification when the service is activated. You can then log in to your personal account to download your “certificat de vie,” have it filled out, and then send it back within the following 3 months.

If your pension fund does not receive your proof of existence, it will be required to suspend payment of your pension.

Your entitlement to French health insurance coverage

If you are residing abroad on an ongoing basis

Are you drawing a retirement pension from France’s general scheme while living in another country? To be covered for any health care expenses you incur in your country of residence, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be drawing a retirement pension from France’s general scheme, and
  • Be a long-term resident of another European Union member State or of a country that has signed an agreement that includes provisions regarding entitlement to health care coverage* with France.

You can request a certificate of entitlement to health care coverage from the Social Security authorities in your country of residence. Once it has been approved, this certificate will entitle you to reimbursement of your health care expenses through the scheme of your country of residence.

*List of States that have signed a Social Security agreement that includes provisions regarding entitlement to health care coverage with France: Algeria, Andorra, French Polynesia, Morocco, New Caledonia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia).


To learn about your entitlements if you reside abroad, please refer to the French health insurance system (L’assurance Maladie)’s website or the website of France’s Center for European and International Social Security Coordination (Cleiss).
 

If you receive health care during a temporary stay in France
If certain requirements are met, your health care expenses may be covered during temporary stays in France.
Please refer to CLEISS’ website to view the rules that are applicable as from July 1st, 2019.
You may also refer to the French health insurance system’s registration service for the National Center for French Retirees Living Abroad (“Centre National des Retraités de France à l’Etranger”/ CNAREFE).

 

Social charges

If you are a tax resident of a country other than France, your retirement pension will not be liable to the general social contribution (CSG), the social debt repayment contribution (CRDS), or the additional solidarity contribution for autonomy (Casa).
However, a health insurance contribution can be withheld from the pension you are paid abroad.
Under international coordination rules, the French health insurance contribution will be withheld if your health care expenses are covered by a French health insurance scheme.

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N.B.

You can only be a tax resident of one country at a time.

Submitting a tax return

If you submit a tax return in France 

Every year, to help you cut down on your paperwork, we report your taxable income from your general-scheme retirement pension to the French tax authorities. Under France’s pay-as-you-earn income tax withholding system, your income tax is withheld directly from your pension payments. To learn more about France’s income tax withholding system, please refer to our dedicated page.

If you do not submit a tax return in France 

To document your income from your French general-scheme retirement pension, you can download a statement of your monthly pension payments by logging in to your personal account. Even if you print it out at home, this document is contractual and will be accepted by the other authorities.