Working while receiving a pension
The pension reform that occurred in 2014 amended the schema for working while receiving a retirement pension, a schema that enabled retired people to continue working while receiving their pension entitlements.
The principle of combining a job and a pension
Any retired person under the general schema of French Social Security is permitted to continue receiving a retirement pension while receiving pay from a job. The party must have already begun to receive his pension. He can then take up a paid occupation (e.g., as an employee, self-employed or a freelance worker) while continuing to receive the pension, as long as he notifies the pension fund concerned, within one month after the date he restarts work.
Working while receiving a pension before 1 January 2015
Until 1 January 2015, retired persons combining a job and a pension could be in one of the two following situations:
– the so-called “in-plan” way of combining work and pension: the retired person received a retirement pension from one scheme, while combining a job within the same plan. In such a case, the new job would not allow him acquire new pension entitlements.
– the so-called “inter-plan” way of combining work and pension: the retired person received a retirement pension from one scheme, while combining a job within a different plan. In such a case, the new job would let him acquire additional pension entitlements.
Working while receiving a pension since 1 January 2015
In principle, and save for any exceptions, any new job after retirement will not entitle the retired person to accrue new entitlements, unlike the former “inter-plan” mechanism. The principle of “non-accrual of new entitlements to the pension” has been confirmed by the CNAV (“Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse” or national old-age insurance fund). (CNAV circular 2017-19 dated 3 May 2017).
Combining a job and a full pension
The retired person is entitled to receive his pension while continuing to work as soon as he begins receiving his pension, if he provides evidence of the term of insurance and/or of periods recognised as equivalent that are required to qualify for a full-rate pension or, regardless of his term of insurance, as of the age at which he is eligible to receive the full rate automatically.
He will thus be able to start a job, particularly with the last employer, from the date that his retirement becomes official. He must then terminate his employment agreement, and sign a new one.
Combining a job and a capped pension
The retired person who does not fulfil the conditions enabling him to be able to work and receive his full pension can nonetheless take a job, as long as the new income he receives, added to his base and supplementary pension, does not exceed the monthly average salaries over his last three months of salaried employment, or 160% of the hourly minimum wage (“SMIC”) on the basis of 1,820 hours per calendar year, if that is more favourable (i.e., € 2,368.43 gross per month).
If the income does exceed that cap, the retired person will be penalised by a reduction of his pension entitlements for the entire amount of income exceeding the cap.
Additionally, the retired person affected by the cap rule will not be able to take a job with his last employee unless he complies with a minimum six-month waiting period between his departure date and his restart.
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