The French social protection scheme for salaried workers in the agricultural professions

2019

Alongside the general scheme for salaried workers, the scheme for self-employed workers, and the special schemes (specific to certain lines of work), the French social security system also has a separate scheme for salaried and self-employed workers in agriculture.
The following information applies to salaried agricultural workers.

I. Introduction

A. A single organization: “Mutualité sociale agricole” (Agricultural social mutual organization)

France’s social protection system for the agricultural professions operates with oversight both from the ministry in charge of agriculture and from the ministry in charge of social security. It is run by the central agricultural social mutual fund (“caisse centrale de la mutualité sociale agricole”/ CCMSA) and by the local agricultural social mutual (MSA) funds.

The agricultural social mutual organization MSA provides social coverage for all individuals with ties to agriculture (self-employed workers, employers, salaried workers, and their beneficiaries). As France’s second-largest social protection scheme, MSA is an institution with an elective setup that is representative of the entire population with ties to agriculture.

MSA’s network of funds, which can cover one or more of France’s “départements,” manages the compulsory social protection schemes for salaried and self-employed members of the agricultural professions.

In addition to providing statutory social protection, MSA’s health and social policy gives rise to solidarity, disability, and dependency-related programs.

MSA is also in charge of preventing on-the-job risks for the agricultural professions and providing occupational health care for agricultural salaried workers, farmers, and company managers.

B. Scope

The French social protection scheme for salaried workers in the agricultural professions covers salaried workers involved in agriculture, such as:

For more information: Article L. 722-20 et seq of the French rural and maritime fishing Code  

C. Organization

The French social protection scheme for salaried workers in the agricultural professions is made up of five branches:

In addition to the statutory benefits it pays, MSA offers social programs focusing on solidarity, disability, and dependency.

II. Contributions and collections

A. Contributions on salaries in 2019

Agricultural social insurance schemes (“Assurances sociales agricoles”/ ASA)

* Monthly Social security ceiling in 2019 : 3,377 €.
ASA contribution rates
Contributions Basis Employer’s share Employee’s share Maximum rate
Health, Maternity, Disability, Death Total pay Yearly pay < or = 2.5 times the French minimum wage (SMIC) 7 % - 7%
Yearly pay > 2.5 times the French minimum wage (SMIC) 13 % 13 %
Old-age insurance Total pay 1.9 % 0.4 % 2.3 %
Pay up to the ceiling 8.55 % 6.9 % 15.45 %

Family benefits (“Allocations familiales”)

Family benefit contribution rates – salaried workers except those employed at public-interest agricultural electricity companies (“Société d'Intérêt Collectif Agricole d'Electricité”/ SICAE)
Pay Contribution basis Employer’s share Employee’s share Maximum rate
Pay > 3.5 times France’s annual minimum wage (“SMIC”) Total pay 5.25 % - 5.25 %
Pay ≤ 3.5 times France’s annual minimum wage (“SMIC) Total pay 3.45 % - 3.45 %

Industrial accidents

Industrial accident insurance contribution rates
Contribution basis Employer’s share Employee’s share Maximum rate
Total pay Variable - Variable

The industrial accident rate can be either an overall group rate, an individual rate, or a combined rate. It varies based on the risk category in which the farm or company has been placed. The group rate is set by ministerial decree.

For more information: Risk category-based group rate scale for 2019

Social contributions: CSG/CRDS/ “Forfait social” (Corporate social contribution)/ Other contributions

Rates for the statutory contributions collected by MSA on behalf of the State as from January 1st, 2018
Contributions Contribution basis Employer’s share Employee’s share Total
General social contribution (Contribution sociale généralisée/ CSG) 98.25% of pay up to 4 times the Social Security ceiling and 100% of pay beyond that amount - 9.2 % 9.2 %
Social debt repayment contribution (Contribution au remboursement de la dette sociale/ CRDS) 98.25% of pay up to 4 times the Social Security ceiling* and 100% of pay beyond that amount - 0,5 % 0,5 %
Forfait social” (Corporate social contribution) Certain pay components (excluding the bases below) that are exempted from social security contributions but liable to CSG or certain amounts appearing on a comprehensive list set forth by law 20 % - 20 %
  • Employer’s supplementary providence contributions payable by companies with 11 or more employees
  • Amounts allocated to the special investment reserve at cooperative production companies
Companies with under 50 employees concluding their first investment or profit-sharing or incentive agreement (this includes certain requirements related to the length of the agreement)
8 % - 8 %
Amounts originating from incentive programs for companies with 50 to 250 staff members Exempted
Employee savings payments (incentive and profit-sharing programs and employers’ matching payments to an employee savings plan account) for companies not required to set up an employee profit-sharing program (= companies with fewer than 50 employees) Exempted
Matching payments made by a company on the basis of payments made by an employee (or former employee who has retired or taken pre-retirement) to a company savings account (“PEE”) for the acquisition of shares or certificates of investment issued by the company or a company belonging to the same account merging consolidation perimeter 10 % - 10 %
Amounts generated by incentive programs, as well as company matching payments into a collective retirement plan account (PERCO1) 16 % - 16 %
Autonomy Solidarity Contribution (Contribution Solidarité Autonomie/ CSA) Total pay 0.3 % - 0.3 %
Labor-management relations contribution (Contribution dialogue social) Total pay 0.016 % - 0.016 %

* N.B.: CSG and CRDS are only payable by individuals who are tax residents of France (unless the Shumacker exception applies). For more information: The corporate social contribution (“forfait social”) and employee savings

1 Under certain conditions stipulated under article L. 137-16 of the French Social Security code: 1) the amounts deposited must be assigned by default to manager-guided funds; 2) savings must be allocated to the acquisition of shares in funds that are comprised of at least 7% securities which are liable to be used in a share savings plan intended for use in financing small and medium-sized companies.

The national housing aid fund (“Fonds national d’aide au logement”/ FNAL)

FNAL contribution rates
Housing benefit (“Allocation logement”) from January 1st, 2018
FNAL contributions Contribution basis Employer’s share Employee’s share Total
Businesses involved in the lines of work listed in points 1 to 4 of article L. 722-1 of the French rural and maritime fishing code (“Code rural et de la pêche maritime”/ CRPM) and agricultural cooperatives Up to the social security ceiling 0.1 % - 0.1 %
Other employers with fewer than 20 employees Up to the social security ceiling 0.1 % - 0.1 %
Other employers with 20 employees and up Total pay 0.5 % - 0.5 %

For more information: complete table of MSA contribution rates for 2018

B. Payment of contributions

Payment dates vary in accordance with the farm’s or company’s average annual staff numbers, which are calculated as of December 31st of the previous year. As a general rule, social contributions are paid the month following the period of employment on the basis of which salaries are due, and at the following dates at the latest:

However, if certain requirements are met, some small companies can opt to continue to pay contributions on a quarterly basis beginning January 1st, 2018.

III. Health, maternity, paternity, disability, and death insurance

A. Health care

1. Reimbursement for medical appointments

As of May 1st, 2017, an appointment with a general practitioner categorized as “conventionné secteur 1,” meaning that there is no surcharge, costs 25 euros.

While declaring a “médecin traitant” (primary care physician) is not mandatory, it determines reimbursement rates.

Members who declare a primary care physician (“médecin traitant”) are within the coordinated care pathway (“parcours de soins coordonnés”): their MSA fund will reimburse 70% of the basic rate, minus a 1-euro flat charge. The remainder is out-of-pocket but can be reimbursed by a supplementary health insurance fund.

Members who have not declared a primary-care physician (“médecin traitant”) are considered as being outside of the coordinated care pathway (“parcours de soins coordonnées”): their reimbursement is reduced to 30% of the basic rate.

2. Reimbursement of pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals that are either fully or partially reimbursed by the MSA Fund must have been medically prescribed by a health care professional. Reimbursement is possible if both of the two following requirements are met at the same time:

3. Reimbursement of transportation expenses on medical grounds

Coverage of transportation expenses is always calculated based on the least expensive type of transportation that is compatible with the insured’s state of health. In order to be reimbursed, the transportation must have been previously prescribed by a physician (except in emergency situations).

MSA must issue a prior approval for transportation under the following circumstances:

The physician must make a request for prior approval in addition to the prescription. These documents must be submitted to MSA’s medical examiner’s office (“service du contrôle medical”), which must notify the insured of its decision within a two-week deadline. If there is no reply, this is considered a prior approval.

Whatever the circumstances, the transportation company’s invoice must be submitted along with the medical expense claim (“feuille de remboursement”).

B. Daily medical leave benefits

Eligibility requirements for daily medical leave benefits vary based on length of leave.

Daily benefit rates are calculated based on an average of the insured’s gross salary for the 3 months prior to going on medical leave, or for the 12 months prior to the leave period if their employment is seasonal or periodic, with a cap of 1.8 times the applicable monthly minimum wage or Smic (2,738.20 euros as from January 1st, 2019).

If the insured has 3 dependent children, the daily benefit rate is topped up beginning from the 31st day of medical leave. 

Type of daily benefit % of daily base salary Minimum amount Maximum amount
Applicable rates and ceilings used to calculate daily medical leave benefits as from April 1st, 2018
“Normal” daily medical leave benefits 50 % 9,39 € / day 44.34 € / day 
Daily medical leave benefits with dependent family top-up as from the 31st day of leave 66.66 %  12.52 € / day 59.12 € / day

For more information: Medical leave for salaried agricultural workers

C. Maternity

1. Length of maternity leave

Statutory maternity leave has been set at a minimum of 16 weeks. It generally begins 6 weeks prior to the expected date of delivery and continues for 10 weeks afterwards. However, it is possible to take a shorter period of leave, provided that it lasts for at least 8 weeks.

Length of maternity leave as determined by the mother’s circumstances
Child(ren) expected Prenatal leave Postnatal leave Total
1st or 2nd 6 weeks 10 weeks 16 weeks
3rd or more 8 weeks 18 weeks 26 weeks
Twins 12 weeks 22 weeks 34 weeks
Triplets or more 24 weeks 22 weeks 46 weeks

2. Maternity leave benefits

To be eligible for daily maternity leave benefits, the mother-to-be must have been a member of the French social security system for at least ten months (all insurance schemes combined) and have completed a minimum period of salaried employment, i.e. she must have worked for at least 150 hours over the 3 calendar months or 90 days prior to the beginning of her pregnancy or prenatal leave, or have paid contributions on a salary amounting to at least 1,015 times the French hourly minimum wage (Smic) over the 6 calendar months prior to the beginning of her pregnancy or prenatal leave. Otherwise, if the member’s employment is seasonal or periodic, she must have worked for at least 600 hours or paid contributions on a salary amounting to at least 2,030 times the French hourly minimum wage over the 12 calendar months or 365 days prior to the beginning of her pregnancy or prenatal leave.

Once the mother-to-be has notified her MSA fund of her pregnancy, she must also inform her employer. The employer then submits the form entitled “Attestation de salaire pour le paiement des indemnités journalières” (Proof of salary for the payment of daily benefits), or use the electronic daily benefit reporting system “DSN IJ” on the first day of the employee's leave, to trigger the payment of daily benefits.

While on maternity leave, the employee’s employment contract is suspended. During that period, her MSA Fund will pay her daily benefits every 14 days in compensation for the loss of earnings resulting from being on leave.

The daily maternity benefit is equal to the employee’s daily net basic earnings. It is calculated based on salaries drawn over the 3 months prior to going on leave, with the following limits:

Daily maternity leave benefit amounts
Minimum (as of April 1, 2018) 9.39 €/ day
Top-up for family dependents (“Majoration pour charge de famille”) as of April 1, 2018 12.52 €/ day
Maximum (as of January 1, 2019) 87.71 €/ day
Length of award for daily maternity leave benefits
Number of dependent children New birth(s) Length of award (in weeks)
Prenatal leave Postnatal leave Total length1
None or 1 child Singleton 6 10 16
2 or more children Singleton 8
(or 10)
18
(or 16)1
26 2
Any number Twins 12
(or 16)
22
(or 18) 3
34
Triplets or more 24 22 46

1 Mothers with at least 2 dependent children can subtract 2 weeks from their postnatal leave and add that period on to their prenatal leave.
2 This length of leave is due to the increased maternity leave that is granted from the 3rd child on.
3 If 2 children are born, the mother can subtract 4 weeks from her postnatal leave and add that period on to her prenatal leave.

For more information: Special circumstances

D. Paternity

Statutory paternity leave is for 11 consecutive days, or 18 consecutive days for multiple births.

Paternity leave can be taken immediately following the father’s 3-day birth leave or separately. It must be taken all at once and is required to begin within the 4 months following the child’s birth.

E. Disability

1. Disability pension

As a general rule, only members are entitled to a disability pension.

An exception is made for surviving spouses who are not entitled to social security benefits in their own right but who are awarded a widow’s or widower’s disability pension if their capacity for work is assessed as diminished by a factor of at least 2/3.

There are three types of disability pension:

Disability pension claimants are entitled to health insurance benefits for an unlimited period of time, and with no out-of-pocket expenses (except for pharmaceuticals with 35% and 15% reimbursement rates).

Disability pension rates
  Annual amount Quarterly amount Monthly amount
Minimum amount
(as of April 1st, 2018)
3,427.39 € 856.83 € 285.61 €
Maximum amount Cat.1 Pension
(as of April 1st, 2019)
12,157.20 € 3,039.30 € 1,013.10 €
Maximum amount Cat.2 Pension
(as of January 1, 2019)
20,262.00 € 5,065.50 € 1,688.50 €
Caregiver top-up (“Majoration pour Tierce Personne”/ MTP) as of April 1, 2018 13,422.85 € 3,355.71 € 1,118.57 €

2. The additional disability allowance (“Allocation supplémentaire d’invalidité”/ ASI)

The additional disability allowance (“allocation supplémentaire d’invalidité”/ ASI) is a benefit that is paid as a supplement to a life-long old-age or disability benefit until the claimant reaches the age of eligibility for the elderly solidarity allowance (“Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées/ Aspa).

ASI eligibility requirements:

ASI rates as of April 1st, 2018
  Annual amount Quarterly amount Monthly amount
Single person or only 1 claiming spouse 4,913.20 € 1,228.29 € 409.43 €
Household, 2 claiming spouses 8,107.54 € 2,2026.86 € 675.62 €

Under certain circumstances, ASI benefits can be collected back from the claimant’s estate when s/he dies.

F. Widow(er)’s pension – death payment (“Capital décès”)

1. Health insurance benefits for the deceased’s beneficiary

Entitlements for the deceased’s beneficiary continue after the spouse’s death.

2. The death payment (“capital décès”)

If certain requirements are met, the surviving spouse may be eligible for a salaried employees’ death payment. In order to receive it, an application must be submitted to the member’s MSA fund.

The flat-rate death payment (“capital décès”) is paid as a lump sum. It amounts to 3,450 € as of April 1, 2018.

MSA has its own specific occupational health program, which offers a multidisciplinary approach to prevention in agricultural work and to protecting agricultural workers’ health. For more information: Monitoring agricultural workers’ occupational health

IV. Industrial accidents and occupational illnesses

Agricultural salaried workers, apprentices, students, and interns are covered for work-related accidents or illnesses, if certain requirements are met.

The occupational illnesses that are recognized and covered by MSA appear on specific occupational illness tables. Each of these tables, which are published by decree, specifies the medical, technical, and administrative requirements that must be met: precise name of the illness, timeframe for coverage, length of exposure to risk where applicable, and list of work already completed.

A. Health care related to an industrial accident/ occupational illness

All industrial accident/ occupational illness-related care is covered by the member’s MSA fund in accordance with the basic reimbursement rates.

The following care is covered at a rate of 100% of the amount approved by the French health insurance system:

The following are covered at a rate of 150% of the amount approved by the French health insurance system:

Any surcharges or supplements beyond the approved amount, or beyond 150% of the approved amount for prosthetic devices and dental prosthetics, are not covered by MSA

B. Daily benefits for medical leave due to an industrial accident/ occupational illness

Daily benefits are paid every two weeks, with no waiting period, up to the date of stabilization or full recovery:

For more information: Daily benefits for workers on light duties, Compensation for permanent incapacity for work, temporary incapacity-for-work compensation

C. Compensation for permanent incapacity for work

Compensation is awarded if the accident or illness results in permanent incapacity for work:

The injured worker’s pension is equal to yearly earnings taken into account multiplied by an adjusted rating.

Pensions cannot be calculated on the basis of yearly earnings if these are below a given minimum which is determined in accordance with the weighting factors set for disability pensions.  This is the minimum yearly wage (“salaire annuel minimum”/ SAM).

The figure for the claimant’s actual incapacity rating is not used as-is; rather, it is converted into an adjusted rate.

The claimant’s permanent partial incapacity severity rating for pension purposes is:

N.B.: If the accident victim’s salary is lower than the minimum yearly wage (SAM), it is brought up to that amount (with an exception for students).

A pension is awarded to the victim’s beneficiaries in the event of death (instantaneous or otherwise) attributable to an industrial (or commuting) accident or to a work-related illness.

If the eligibility requirements are met, a beneficiary’s pension will be paid to the victim’s surviving spouse, children and descendants, or ascendants. This entitlement is awarded with the same requirements for a pre-existing relationship, whether this was a marriage, common-law partnership (“concubinage”), or a civil union (“PACS”).

The pension will be calculated on the basis of the victim’s yearly earnings figure, which is calculated in accordance with certain rules and then multiplied by a percentage that is determined by the beneficiary’s relationship to the victim.   

Compensation if the victim dies

  • Pensions awarded to the victim’s beneficiaries (including ascendants) = base salary used to calculate the victim’s pension X rate applicable to the beneficiary
  • Base salary used to calculate the beneficiary’s pension = 85% of the yearly salary used to calculate the deceased victim’s pension
  • Rate applicable to the beneficiary = variable, determined by the beneficiary’s relationship to the victim (spouse, child, ascendant, etc.).

N.B.: if the total of all pensions awarded to the victim’s beneficiaries exceeds 85%, these pensions will be proportionally reduced so as not to exceed 85% of the deceased victim’s yearly earnings.

V. Old-age and widow(er)s’ insurance

Retirement pensions for salaried employees in agriculture are composed of a basic retirement pension and a supplementary retirement pension which are accrued on a pay-as-you-go basis.

For more information: Retirement for salaried workers in agriculture

A. Members’ entitlements

1. Age, length-of-insurance, and full-rate entitlement requirements

a) Statutory minimum retirement age

Statutory retirement age has been set at 62 for individuals who were born on or after January 1st, 1955. France’s increase in retirement age applies to pensions with an effective date on or after July 1st, 2011.

A member is not required to apply for a pension as soon as they have reached statutory retirement age and/or accrued the required number of years of insurance for entitlement to an old-age pension at the maximum rate. Indeed, a pension rate increase will apply if the member continues to work after reaching statutory age and accruing the required length of insurance for a full-rate pension.

Retirement age and full rate as determined by birth year
Birth year Statutory retirement age Age of full-rate entitlement
Prior to July 1st, 1951 60 65
Between July 1st, 1951 and December 31st, 1951 60 years 4 months 65 years 4 months
From  January 1st, 1952 60 years 9 months 65 years 9 months
From January 1st, 1953 61 years 2 months 66 years 2 months
From January 1st, 1954 61 years 7 months 66 years 7 months
From January 1st, 1955 62 67

For more information, please refer to articles L. 161-17-2, L.351-1, and R.351-2of the French Social Security Code.

b) Length of insurance

An applicant’s length of insurance is used to determine whether they are entitled to a pension with no rate reduction. The number of quarters accrued under all schemes combined cannot exceed 4 per calendar year. Only one quarter is required for entitlement to a pension from the scheme for salaried workers in agriculture.

Length of insurance takes account of the following:

Required length of insurance for a full-rate retirement pension as determined by year of birth
Year of birth Length of insurance
1951 163 quarters
1952 164 quarters
1953-1954 165 quarters
1955-1956-1957 166 quarters
1958-1959-1960 167 quarters
1961-1962-1963 168 quarters
1964-1965-1966 169 quarters
1967-1968-1969 170 quarters
1970-1971-1972 171 quarters
1973 172 quarters

For more information, please refer to articles L. 161-17-2, L.351-1, and R.351-2 of the French Social Security Code.

c) Full rate pension

A retirement pension is calculated at the full rate, meaning at the maximum rate of 50%, if the member has met the requirements in terms of both length of insurance and equivalent periods.

If the claimant has not accrued the required length of insurance their retirement pension will be calculated at the full rate:

Individuals born on or after January 1st, 1955, are automatically entitled to the full rate at age 67.

2. How retirement pensions are calculated

Pensions are calculated based on three components:

When certain requirements are met, periods of employment abroad in a country that has signed a Social Security agreement with France can be taken into account when determining the member’s retirement pension payment rate.

Under French legislation alone, periods of employment abroad accrued prior to April 1st, 1983, for which buyback contributions can or could have been made, are taken into account as equivalent periods when determining the member’s pension payment rate from statutory retirement age (article R. 351-4 of the French Social Security code).

The single pension claim for aligned  scheme  members (“liquidation unique des régimes alignés”/ Lura)

The pension reform of January 20, 2014, instituted the single pension claim system (Lura) for individuals who have belonged to at least 2 of the following so-called “aligned” schemes:

Through Lura, these individuals, who are also referred to as “multiple-pension recipients,” are only required to submit a single pension claim and only receive a single pension (rather than several as before).

An individual can submit a pension claim to any of the pension funds to which they have belonged. The funds then work together to compile the information needed to process the claim and calculate the pension.

In general, the competent scheme to calculate and pay the applicant's pension is the last one to which they belonged. However, priority rules may apply instead: this is the case when the insured was last a member of two aligned schemes at the same time or when Lura does not apply to their last scheme of membership.

The pension is then calculated and awarded by the competent scheme pursuant to its own rules and policies.

Example

The retirement pension for an individual born in 1955 will be calculated as follows:

  • Average yearly income (25 best years) × Payment rate (between 37.5% and 50%) × Length of insurance under LURA/ 166 quarters (maximum length of insurance taken into account as determined by birth year).

3. Length-of-insurance and pension increases

a) Length-of-insurance increases
The child-related increase

A parent can be awarded a length of insurance increase of up to 8 quarters per child:

For children born after January 1st, 2010, additional quarters for adoption and child-rearing can be shared between the parents. Indeed, the parents can determine who accrues the additional quarters or how the additional quarters will be shared within a 6-month period following the 4th anniversary of the child's birth or adoption.

Up to eight additional quarters may be credited to persons bringing up a child with a severe disability who and qualifies for the special education disabled child's allowance (AEEH).

Delaying retirement

An individual can reach full-rate retirement pension age (between 65 and 67 as determined by birth year) but not have accrued the required length of insurance for entitlement to a full pension (all basic schemes combined). They can increase their length of insurance by delaying retirement beyond that age (whether or not they continue to work). In this case, their length of insurance will be increased by 2.5% for each trimester retirement is delayed.

b) Pension increases

4. Early retirement

Early retirement on the basis of a long career

Salaried workers in agriculture who began working at a very early age may be eligible for the early retirement program for members with a long career, which entitles them to a basic pension with no rate reduction.

Members who began working before age 16, 17, or 20 may be eligible to retire before age 60 if both of the following requirements are met:

All periods on which contributions were paid into a French scheme are taken into account. Certain equivalent quarters are treated as if contributions were paid. This means that the following are taken into account:

Early retirement for workers with disabilities (RATH program)

A salaried worker in agriculture can apply for early retirement under the RATH program from age 55. Their pension will be calculated with no rate reduction and be paid with a specific top-up.

To be eligible for the RATH program, a member must meet all of the following three requirements:

Disability assessments cover the entire calendar year. When a member is assessed as having a disability at any time over the course of the calendar year, all quarters of that year are considered as having been accrued while disabled.

The RATH program is designed for workers who had a disability for a significant proportion of their career and who completed the required paperwork to have their disability recognized administratively on an ongoing basis throughout the time they worked with a disability.

Early retirement due to permanent incapacity for work

A salaried worker in agriculture can apply for early retirement on the basis of permanent incapacity for work beginning at age 60. Their pension will be calculated with no rate reduction assuming that they have a minimum incapacity-for-work rating with a work-related origin that was caused by either an occupational illness or an industrial accident that resulted in injuries identical to those compensated for by France’s occupational illness insurance scheme.

To be eligible, members must be drawing an industrial accident/ occupational illness pension on the basis of permanent incapacity for work with a severity rating of: at least 20% or between 10% and 19%.

Early retirement pensions awarded on the basis of permanent incapacity for work are calculated with no rate reduction, regardless of the member’s length of insurance.

Early retirement on the basis of arduous work (C2P)

As from January 1st, 2015, salaried workers exposed to certain industrial risks which are liable to have a life-long impact on health accrue points to a job risk prevention account (compte professionnel de prévention / C2P): these can be converted into additional length of insurance quarters and be used towards early retirement.

6 exposure factors are currently taken into account:

Statutory retirement age is lowered on the basis of the number of additional length-of-insurance quarters accrued, which is capped at 8:

Additional length-of-insurance quarters accrued on the basis of arduous work are incorporated into the member’s full-rate length of insurance.

5. The Elderly Solidarity Allowance (“Allocation Solidarité aux Personnes Agées”/ Aspa)

With Aspa, individuals with little money for their retirement can draw a minimum income if they meet the eligibility requirements.

To draw Aspa, a member must:

Maximum Aspa amounts
    Monthly amount Yearly amount
As of April 1st, 2018 For a single person 833,20 € 9 998,40 €
For a couple (married couple, or de facto or civil union partners) 1 293,54 € 15 522,54 €
As of January 1st, 2019 For a single person 868,20 € 10 418,40 €
For a couple (married couple, or de facto or civil union partners) 1 347,88 € 16 174,59 €
As of January 1st, 2020 For a single person 903,20 € 10 838,40 €
For a couple (married couple, or de facto or civil union partners) 1 402,22 € 16 826,64 €

B. Surviving spouses’ entitlements

1. The survivor’s retirement pension

An individual can apply for a survivor’s retirement pension if his/her spouse or ex-spouse has died (or been missing for more than a year) and was either drawing or would have been eligible for a salaried worker’s retirement pension from the agricultural scheme.

De facto or civil union (“PACS”) partners are not entitled to a survivor’s retirement pension.

To be eligible for a survivor’s retirement pension, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

To learn more, please refer to articles L.353-1 et seq of the French Social Security code.

G. The widow(er)’s allowance (“Allocation de veuvage”)

The widow(er)’s allowance (“allocation de veuvage”) is awarded as temporary financial support for surviving spouses who do not meet the age requirement for a survivor’s retirement pension. The widow(er)’s allowance is awarded only when directly applied for by the survivor.

If the deceased was a member of the agricultural scheme for salaried workers in agriculture, the application for a widow(er)’s allowance must be submitted to “the MSA fund in charge of paying old-age entitlements.”

If the deceased had belonged to several different schemes, only one scheme is competent to assess and pay a widow(er)’s allowance entitlement.

For entitlement to a widow(er)’s allowance, the deceased spouse must have been drawing:

The surviving spouse must meet the following requirements:

The widow(er)’s allowance comes to 759.42 € per month. It can be paid at a reduced rate on the basis of the surviving spouse’s income.

The allowance is paid on a monthly basis for a period of 2 years following the death, insofar as the eligibility requirements continue to be met. If an application is submitted within the 12 months following the spouse’s death, the allowance’s effective date is the 1st day of the month of the death. Otherwise, the effective date is the 1st day of the month of the application.

To learn more, please refer to articles L.356-1 et seq of the French Social Security Code.

VI. Family, housing, and solidarity benefits

MSA pays the same benefits based on the same requirements as the general social security scheme’s Family Benefits Funds (“Caisses d’Allocations Familiales”/ CAF). Most of these benefits are means-tested and can be paid at various rates based on the claimant’s income.

A. Family benefits

1. General maintenance benefits

a. Family allowance (“allocations familiales”)

MSA pays a family allowance to households with 2 or more children under the age of 20. Rates are based on household makeup, and are also income-based as of July 1st, 2015.

The household income taken into account is the same that is used by the MSA Fund to calculate other family benefits. This income is used to determine the income bracket to which the household belongs in order to calculate their family allowance entitlement.

The family allowance is paid automatically from the second child’s birth or arrival in the household, provided that the family has declared the child’s birth or adoption to their MSA Fund. They are paid automatically from the month following the child’s birth or arrival

b. The family supplement (”Complément familial”)

This supplement is paid to help with child maintenance costs. It is a means-tested benefit that is paid to households with 3 or more dependent children, if the 3rd child is at least 3 years old.

c.The family support allowance (”Allocation de soutien familial”/ Asf)

Asf is paid to a single or foster parent raising one or more child(ren) who are totally or partially deprived of family support. Asf can be paid on top of a small child support award. This allowance is not means-tested.

2. Birth and early childhood benefits

a. The early childhood benefit program (“Prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant”/ PAJE)

Paje was created to make life easier for new parents. It consists of several types of award from before the child arrives and going up to his/her 6th birthday:

3. Benefits for special purposes

a. The daily parental attendance allowance (“Allocation journalière de présence parentale”/ AJPP)

This allowance provides financial aid if on parent temporarily stops working to care for a child with a serious illness, accidental injury, or disability. It is not means-tested.

A means-tested supplement for expenses (“complément pour frais”) can also be awarded if the family has had medical expenses in connection with the child’s health.

b. The Back-to-school benefit (“Allocation de rentrée scolaire”/ ARS)

This benefit helps families pay for back-to-school expenses for children ages 6 to 18. To draw this benefit for children ages 16 and up, families must submit a declaration of each child’s school or apprenticeship enrolment to their MSA fund.

c. Unpaid child support coverage (“Garanties contre les impayés de pension alimentaire”/ Gipa)

Unpaid child support coverage (Gipa) is aid for single-parent families when one parent stops paying or only pays part of his/her child support responsibilities, or when the child support award is lower than the Family Support Allowance (“Allocation de soutien familial”/ ASF).

d. The disabled child’s education allowance (“Allocation d’éducation pour l’enfant handicapé”/ AEEH)

This allowance provides financial assistance with educational and health care expenses for dependent children with disabilities under the age of 20. It is not means-tested.

e. The disabled adult’s allowance (“Allocation aux adultes handicapés”/ AAH)

This allowance is awarded as minimum income for people with disabilities on a low income or who have no other source of revenue. Claimants are required to declare their income each quarter in order to keep drawing AAH.

AAH eligibility requirements and rates are determined by the applicant’s disability:

Disability severity ratings are determined by the Committee for the Rights and Self-dependency of Disabled Persons (CDAPH).

AAH eligibility requirements and rates are determined on the basis of age, nationality, and place of residence. The applicant must:

Monthly AAH rates are determined on the basis of family circumstances and other income. It is awarded for 1 to 5 years, or, from January 2017, for 20 years if the disability does not improve. As from January 2019, it is awarded for an unlimited amount of time to those with a permanent disability severity rating of at least 80% and whose restrictions on activities are scientifically not expected to improve. The full rate amounts to 819 euros per month (amount applicable from April 1st, 2018 to March 31, 2019).

Plus d’information : Required paperwork ; The quarterly income declaration (“declaration trimestrielle de resources;” and the independent-living top-up (“majoration pour la vie autonome”) 

D. Housing and home improvement

1. Housing aid

  1. Personalized housing aid (“Aide Personnalisée au Logement”/ APL) is financial aid intended to reduce either the rental burden, or the monthly mortgage payment burden for those purchasing pre-existing accommodations not located in a scarce-housing area that has been classified as a “zone tendue.”
  2. The family housing benefit (“Allocation logement à caractère familial”/ ALF) can be awarded to those not eligible for APL if certain eligibility requirements are met.
  3. The low-income housing allowance (“Allocation logement à caractère social”/ ALS) can be awarded to those not eligible for APL and/or ALF.

For more information: Eligibility requirements for APL, ALF, and ALS

2. Home improvement aid

  1. The home improvement loan (“prêt à l’amélioration de l’habitat”/ PAH) is used to lessen the costs involved in home improvement or repairs.
  2. Specific aid for registered childminders (“assistantes maternelles”): The home daycare improvement loan (“Prêt à l’Amélioration du Lieu d’Accueil de l’enfant”/ PALA) and the opening bonus (“prime d’installation”).
  3. The moving bonus (“prime de déménagement”) can be used to partially offset housing-related expenses incurred due to the arrival of a 3rd child.

3. Solidarity, Financial insecurity

  1. Active Solidarity Income (“Revenu de Solidarité Active”/ RSA) is an income safety net for jobseekers and agricultural employees on a low income.
  2. The employment bonus (“Prime d’activité”) can be paid to top up employment income that does not exceed a given amount.

VII. Social programs

MSA offers programs to deal with issues specific to agriculture and the rural environment. These include: