France's social security scheme for self-employed workers

2019

Up until late 2017, France's Social Security system had a separate scheme for self-employed workers not involved in agriculture. The Social Security Financing Law for 2018 eliminated the Régime Social des Indépendants (RSI) and these workers' compulsory Social Security coverage is now provided by the general scheme. However, as described by this document, there are specific provisions which apply to self-employed workers.

I. Introduction

A 2-year period of transition (up to January 1st, 2020) has been set up to transfer RSI’s responsibilities over to the organizations in charge of the general scheme (CPAM, CARSAT, URSSAF, and CGSS for France’s overseas departments).

The former RSI funds became Social Security branches on January 1st, 2018. They have kept the same responsibilities (in partnership with the approved organizations when it comes to compulsory health-maternity insurance), except that they now work on behalf of the general scheme.

For their health insurance coverage, in 2019, all new self-employed workers are required to register with the local health insurance fund (“caisse primaire d’assurance maladie”/ CPAM) where they live. As from 2020, all self-employed workers with previous RSI membership and management of benefits by an approved insurer or mutual fund will go through their CPAM for all health and maternity insurance and payment of daily benefits. The funds that have been assigned to cover self-employed workers are also in charge of paying basic and compulsory supplementary social security retirement pensions and disability-death benefits (on behalf of the general scheme).

A. Organization

Social security for self-employed workers is based on a decentralized network :

The fund to which self-employed workers belong depends on their status or on where they work:

To determine which branch you belong to, please refer to the French Social Security system’s website for self-employed workers.

B. Scope

Members of the following categories have compulsory membership in the self-employed workers' social security scheme, even if they are also in salaried employment:

*a distinction is made between private-practice professions to which specific regulations apply (e.g. for architects, lawyers, doctors, midwives, notaries, etc.) and unregulated private-practice professions (all others).

Members of the following categories can join voluntarily:

II. Contributions

Urssaf (or CGSS in France’s overseas departments) collects all compulsory social security contributions from craftspeople and shopkeepers:

Members of a regulated private-practice profession or those covered by CIPAV for their pension and disability- death insurance pay contributions to one of the 10 career-specific chapters coordinated by CNAVPL (the private-practice professionals' old-age insurance fund), or CNBF (the French Bars' national fund) for lawyers (rates vary by profession). They also pay health and maternity, family benefits, and professional training contributions, along with CSG-CRDS charges, to URSSAF.

N.B : As from January 1st, 2018, rather than joining CIPAV, individuals who create a company as an « auto-entrepreneur » to exercise an unregulated private-practice profession become members of the Social Security scheme for the self-employed for all risks, meaning that they pay their pension and disability-death contributions to Urssaf.

A. How contributions and rates are calculated

Self-employed workers' social security contributions are calculated based on their self-employed, non-agricultural earnings that are taken into account for their income tax calculation (with a few exceptions: please refer to Urssaf's website).

Between March and June of each year, self-employed workers must go to www.net-entreprises.fr to fill out and submit an online return entitled "Déclaration sociale des indépendants" (DSI).

N.B.: The “Déclaration sociale des indépendants” is not required of those with micro-entrepreneur status. Instead, they must submit their declaration and payment on a monthly or quarterly basis via lautoentrepreneur.fr, net-entreprises.fr, or by mailing it to Urssaf.

The income that serves as the basis for calculating your contributions is determined by the tax system to which your company belongs. This in turn is determined by the company's legal setup (SARL, EURL, micro-business, etc.) To learn more, please refer to the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme guide.

The DSI return, which provides an overview of your previous year's earned income, is the basis on which your compulsory contributions are calculated. It shows:

Any foreign-generated income (EU/EEA/Switzerland) must also be reported on your DSI return.

 

N.B: Self-employed workers do not pay unemployment insurance contributions. However, they can choose to take out a job-loss insurance contract (or unemployment coverage) from a private insurance company.

Standard ongoing contributions

Cotisation Bases de calcul Taux
Health 1
Craftsmen, shopkeepers
Earned income below 16,210 € (40% of the yearly Social Security Ceiling/ “Pass”)1 0 to 3.16%
Earned income between 16,210 € and 44,576 € (40% to 100% of the yearly Social Security ceiling/ “Pass”)2 3.16 to 6.35 %
Earned income between 44,576 € and 202,620 € (110% of the Pass to 5 times the Pass) 6.35%
Portion of income above 202,620 € (5 times the Pass) 6.5%
Health for private-practice professionals Earned income < 110% of the Pass2 1.5 to 6.5%
Earned income > 110% of the Pass 6.5%
Health 2 (Daily benefits) Income up to 202,620 € (5 times the Pass) 0.85 %
Basic retirement pension Income up to 40,524 € (1 Pass) 17.75 %
Income beyond 40,524 € (1 Pass) 0.6%
Supplementary retirement pension Income up to 37,960 €3 7 %
Income between 37,960 and 162,096 € (4 times the Pass) 8 %
Disability-death Income up to 1 Pass 1.3%
Family benefits Earned income below 44,576 € (110% of the Pass) Rate of 0
110% and 140% of the Pass 0 to 3.1%
Earned income above 56,734 € (140% of the Pass) 3.1%
CSG –CRDS Earned income + compulsory social security contributions 9.7%
Replacement income 6.7%
Professional training due on the basis of 2019, payable in November 2019 Shopkeepers, on the basis of 1 Pass 2019 0.25%
Shopkeeper + contributing spouse, on the basis of 1 Pass 2019 0.34 %
Craftsmen, on the basis of 1 Pass 2019 0.29 %

1. Pass: yearly social security ceiling. If earned income < 40% of the Pass, there is a double rate reduction.

2. If earned income > 40% of the Pass, there is a single rate reduction.

3. Specific ceiling for the self-employed workers' supplementary scheme.

Contributions for members in France’s overseas departments are calculated according to special rules.

Annual contributions during your early career

Craftsmen and shopkeepers who set up a business in 2019 can be exempted from certain contributions for 12 months if they meet the following requirements:

Yearly income Type of exemption
Income < 75% of Pass, or 30,393 € Total exemption from contributions
75% of the Pass < income < 100% of the Pass, or 40,524 € Degressive exemption
Income > Pass, or 40,524 € No exemption

During this period, contributions from which the member is not exempted are calculated based on a flat amount (this amount prorated based on the date in 2019 when the member began work):

Type Flat-amount calculation basis Yearly amount
Supplementary retirement pension 7,700 € 539 €
CSG-CRDS charges 7,700 € 747€
Professional training (Professional training leave: CFP) 40,524 € 101 or 118 €*

* 101 € for shopkeepers and private-practice professionals; 118 € for craftsmen.

The member will accrue basic retirement pension entitlements throughout the period of exemption from contributions.

During the member’s 2nd year of work (in 2020), the member will need to pay provisional contributions, which are calculated on a flat-amount basis, until they have filed their online return entitled "Déclaration sociale des indépendants" (DSI) to report their income for 2019. Rates are provided with the contribution payment schedule for 2019:  

Line of work Type of contribution Flat-amount calculation basis for a 1st year of work in 2019 and a 2nd year of work in 2020 Amount
Self-employment (craftsmen and shopkeepers) Health-maternity 16,210 € 512 €
Health (daily benefits) 16,210 € 138 €
Family benefits 7,700 € 0 €
CSG-CRDS 747 €
Disability-death 100 €
Basic retirement pension 1,367 €
Supplementary retirement pension 539 €
Professional training 101 € ou 118 €
Regulated private-practice profession Health-maternity 7,700 € 182 €
Family benefits 0 €
CSG-CRDS 747 €
Basic retirement pension 7,700 € 778 €
Professional training 40,524 € 101 €

What contribution rates apply if the member is not eligible for an exemption?

In this case, the member will pay flat-amount contributions for their 1st and 2nd year in the amounts shown in the table above.

Minimum contributions

Entrepreneurs whose earned income is negative or below the amounts listed in the "notional calculation basis" column are required to pay minimum contributions even if they are also in salaried employment or drawing a retirement pension.

Amounts for craftsmen and shopkeepers
Type Flat-amount calculation bases Yearly amount
Health (daily benefits) 0.85% x (40% of the annual Social Security ceiling) 138 €
Disability-death 16,210 € 1.3% x (11.5% of the annual Social Security ceiling) 61 €
Basic retirement pension 4,660 € 17.75% x (11.5% of the annual Social Security ceiling) 827 €
Professional training 4,660 € Social Security ceiling 40,524 € 101 € for shopkeepers (118 € for craftsmen)

There is no minimum health-maternity insurance, family benefits, or CSG-CRDS contribution. For self-employed workers, there is also no minimum supplementary retirement pension contribution. Rather, these contributions are calculated based on actual earned income.

NB: All contributions for those receiving the active solidarity allowance (RSA) or the employment bonus (“prime d'activité”) are calculated on the basis of their actual income. They can also apply to pay minimum contributions in order to increase their entitlements.

Contributions paid by "auto-entrepreneurs"

A business can be created under “auto-entrepreneur” status online at autoentrepreneur.fr.

An “auto-entreprise” is an individual undertaking that comes under the special tax system for “micro-entreprises” and under the “micro-social” scheme for the payment of social security contributions.  

An “auto-entrepreneur” may work as a craftsman, shopkeeper, or private-practice professional, either as their sole employment (holding only “auto-entrepreneur” status) or as supplementary employment (alongside salaried worker, pensioner, student, or another status).

To qualify for the “auto-entrepreneur” system, the member’s yearly turnover must not exceed the following thresholds:

"Auto-entrepreneur" status offers a simplified system for the calculation and payment of compulsory social security contributions.

Each month or each quarter, whichever the member has chosen, they will need to calculate and pay all of their personal social security contributions based on their gross turnover for that period, using the following rates:

The "forfait social" (corporate social contribution) includes all contributions related to compulsory social security coverage:

The “forfait social” (corporate social contribution) is paid in addition to a professional training contribution: it amounts to 0.10% (for shopkeepers and members of unregulated private-practice professions), 0.20% (for those in regulated private-practice professions), and 0.30% (craftsmen) of the member’s turnover.

B. Paying contributions

Once the member’s self-employment/ business has been registered with Business formalities Center ("Centre de formalités des entreprises"/ CFE), contributions become due to URSSAF from the date of registration and must be paid electronically (checks are not accepted). The first monthly or quarterly payment will fall due after a minimum 90-day waiting period. The amount of the member’s provisional contributions for 2019 and for the first installments in 2020.

III. Health-maternity insurance

A. Health care

As from January 2016, France's universal health care system ("Protection universelle maladie"/ Puma) provides health-maternity coverage to all persons working in France or residing in France on a stable and ongoing basis. Workers' adult family members (spouse and/or children) can now be insured in their own right. If not employed, a worker's spouse who had joined the Social Security scheme for independent workers as a beneficiary before Puma was rolled out will not be able to keep this status past 2019.

Self-employed workers' health care expenses are covered under the same conditions and using the same reimbursement rates that apply to salaried workers under the general scheme.

NB: the rates below apply to statutory fees, meaning with no surcharge.

Care and treatments Coverage by the French Social Security system
Doctor's fees (within the coordinated healthcare pathway through your primary-care physician ("médecin traitant"))* 70 %
Doctor's fees (outside the coordinated healthcare pathway) 30 %
Licensed health workers' fees 60 %
Medical analyses 60 %
Pharmaceuticals 100%, 65%, 30%, or 15% depending on the recognized "medical service rendered"
Care and hospitalizations in connection with a long-term illness 100 %
Hospital stays of 30 days or less 80 %
Hospitalization from the 31st day and beyond 100 %
Hospital stays that include an extensive procedure with a fee of 120 € or more 100%.
24 € will be deducted from your reimbursement.

* If you declare a primary-care physician ("médecin traitant"), you will be reimbursed at a higher rate. The French Social Security scheme for self-employed workers reimburses 70% of a 25 € doctor's appointment, or 16.50 €, if you have a primary-care physician, versus 6.50 € if you do not.

If you are hospitalized, you will be charged a 20 € out-of-pocket daily fee (the daily fee is 15 € for psychiatric admissions). While this fee is not reimbursed by the Social Security system, it can be covered by certain mutual funds or supplementary health insurance providers. Some patients are exempted from this fee.

All patients are required to pay a €1 flat out-of-pocket charge for a doctor’s appointment or laboratory test (not exceeding 4 € per practitioner or laboratory per day. There is also a 0.50 € flat charge per paramedical procedure and prescribed item of medicine, and a 2 € charge for medical transportation (excluding emergency transportation arranged by the emergency response service Samu). Such charges may not exceed 50 € per year; moreover, they are capped at 2 € per day for paramedical procedures and 4 € per day for medical transport. Patients under the age of 18 and pregnant women (receiving care covered by maternity insurance from the 6th month of pregnancy up to 12 days after delivery) are exempted from all of these out-of-pocket charges.

Your reimbursement will be paid by one of the organizations that have been approved by the self-employed workers' Social Security scheme. That is where you will need to submit your medical expense claim forms ("feuilles de soins"). However, if you begin or change your line of self-employment in 2019, you will need to submit your forms to the local health insurance fund (CPAM) where you live.

An approved organization ("organisme conventionné") is a mutual fund or a group of insurance companies that have signed an agreement with the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme. Whichever approved organization you chose when you created your business, your reimbursement rates will be the same.

B. Daily medical leave benefits

Craftspeople, shopkeepers, manufacturers, and members of certain unregulated private-practice professions (those with new “auto-entrepreneur” status from 2018) receive daily (cash) benefits if they are prescribed medical leave as the result of an illness or accident.

Other private-practice professionals do not pay compulsory contributions to the general scheme, which makes them ineligible for daily benefits from the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme (“Sécurité sociale pour les indépendants”). However, some of the retirement pension funds for private-practice professionals include providence (disability-death) schemes that pay daily benefits in the event of temporary incapacity for work due to illness. Those eligible include CAVEC members (for chartered accountants and auditors) and certain health care providers (including CARMF and CARCDSF members). However, daily benefits are only paid after a 3-month waiting period.

The organization which has been approved by the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme and chosen by the worker is in charge of paying these benefits. However, new self-employed workers (those beginning or changing their line of self-employment in 2019) are awarded daily benefits by the local CPAM where they reside.

1. Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to receive daily benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

If you were previously a member of another compulsory health insurance scheme, either through employment or a period on unemployment benefits, your period of membership in that scheme can be taken into account provided that you transitioned directly from one scheme to the other with no break in coverage.

Pages 1 and 2 of the medical leave prescription your doctor has issued you must be sent to your self-employed workers' Social Security scheme branch or to the CPAM to which you belong.

2. Rates

Daily benefits are paid at a rate of 1/730th of your average yearly earned income over the past 3 calendar years, up to a maximum of the annual Social Security ceiling (40,524 € in 2019). If your average yearly income is 3, 919.20 € or more, your daily benefits, which are proportional to your income, will come to between 21 € and 55.51 € per day. If your income is below that level, daily benefits will not be paid if you have “micro-entrepreneur” status while members paying a minimum contribution will receive daily benefits at a rate of approximately 21 €.

Sample calculations

  • Average yearly earned income for the previous 3 years: 2,500 €.
    2,500 < 3,919.20 €
    Daily benefits come to 21 € or are not paid (“micro-entrepreneurs”).
  • Average yearly earned income for the previous 3 years: 8,000 €.
    8,000 € x 1/730 = 10.96 €
    Daily benefits are paid at a rate of 10.96 €.
  • Average yearly earned income for the previous 3 years: 42,000 €.
    42,000 € x 1/730 = 57.53 €
    Daily benefits are paid at the maximum rate of 55.51 €.

3. Length of entitlement

Daily benefits are paid after a 3-day waiting period. However, if medical leave is prescribed for fewer than 7 days and there is no hospital stay, no benefits are paid (a 7-day waiting period applies). There is no waiting period if leave is prescribed for pregnancy complications or if leave for a long-term illness is extended.

How long you will receive daily benefits depends on the type of medical leave you have been prescribed:

Long-term illness ("Affection de longue durée"/ALD) or long-term care ("soins de longue durée"/SLD)

A long-term illness ("affection de longue durée"/ALD) is a serious and/or chronic illness which is covered by France's health care system at a rate of 100% for all necessary treatments.

Long-term care ("soins de longue durée"/SLD) is in connection with an illness requiring ongoing care and/or medical leave for a period of more than 6 months.

As under France's general scheme, if you are prescribed medical leave under one of these two categories, you will be eligible to receive daily benefits for up to 3 years (270 days for medically prescribed part-time employment) provided that the leave was medically justified.

Other situations

If you are prescribed medical leave that is not connected to a long-term condition (illness, accident, etc.), you will be eligible for 360 days of benefits over a period of 3 years (90 days for medically prescribed part-time employment), as for salaried workers under the general scheme.

C. Maternity – paternity

Craftspeople, shopkeepers, and private-practice professionals who are members of the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme in their own right are eligible for maternity benefits if they are up-to-date with the payment of their compulsory health and maternity contributions and have been members of the scheme for 10 months on the expected date of delivery or adoption. Previous periods of membership can be taken into account under certain circumstances. In addition, to be eligible for benefits at the standard rates, members must report more than 3, 919.20 € in yearly income. When income is lower than that amount, benefits are only paid at 10% of the standard amounts.

1. Coverage of care and exams

Your care will be covered by the approved organization you chose when you created your business -or by the local CPAM where you reside if you are a new self-employed worker- according to the following reimbursement rates:

NB: the rates below apply to statutory fees, meaning with no surcharge.

Type of care Reimbursement rate
Mandatory pre- and post-natal exams 100 %
All exams and care performed or provided from the 6th month of pregnancy up to 12 days after the actual date of delivery 100 %
Expenses in connection with pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery care, such as: fetal karyotype and amniocentesis, glucose readings, and post-natal physical therapy 100 %
Hospitalization (all expenses: fees and accommodations) 100 %
Physical exam for the father-to-be 100 %
Care or hospitalization of the child over the 30 days following birth 100 %
Compulsory medical follow-up exams for the child up to his/her 6th birthday 100 %
Other care (not covered by maternity insurance) for the mother or child, provided by a doctor or midwife (as a practitioner) 70 %
Other care (not covered by maternity insurance) for the mother or child, provided by a licensed health worker (nurse or physical therapist) 60 %

2. Cash benefits

Company directors can receive two different pregnancy-related benefits from the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme at the same time.

The lump-sum mothers' rest benefit ("allocation forfaitaire de repos maternel")

This benefit is intended to compensate for a decreased work load. It comes to 3, 377 € and is paid in 2 installments:

For adoptions, the amount of 1, 688.50 € is awarded when the child joins the household.

The lump-sum daily benefit for time off work

This is paid to women who stop working for 44 consecutive days, 14 of which must immediately precede the expected date of delivery. Their medical leave can be extended by one or two periods of 15 consecutive days.

This benefit comes to 2, 442.44 € for the first 44 days off work (i.e. 55.51 € per day), then 832.65 € per additional period of 15 days.

Your medical leave can be extended under certain circumstances (pregnancy-related difficulties or complications, premature birth, twin birth, adoption, or hospitalization of the child.)

Women with contributing spouse ("conjoint collaborateur") status are also entitled to maternity benefits (please refer to the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme’s website)

3. Paternity leave

Company directors are eligible for paternity leave and can be paid daily paternity leave benefits by the self-employed workers’ Social security scheme. Those with contributing spouse (“conjoint collaborateur”) status can be awarded a benefit that is intended to pay an employee as a substitute during this period of leave. In all cases, the applicant must have been a member of the scheme for 10 months.

Paternity or adoption leave is granted to the father as well as, where applicable, to the spouse, de facto partner, or civil union ("pacs") partner if he is a member of the self-employed workers’ Social security scheme.

Rates and length of entitlement

Company directors receive daily benefits at a flat rate of 55.51 € per day. These can be paid for:

Leave must begin within 4 months of the child’s birth.

If a company director's earned income comes to less than 3, 919.20 €, his/her benefits are reduced to 10% of the usual amounts.

For contributing spouses, the "substitution" benefit (“ de remplacement") is paid at a rate of 54.33 € per day. It is paid for the same amount of time as to fathers who are company directors.

IV. Family benefits

Family benefits contributions are paid by all self-employed workers and private-practice professionals.

These contributions entitle members to family benefits from the Family Benefits Fund (Caisse d'Allocations Familiales/ CAF) under the same conditions as salaried workers:

Most of these benefits are means-tested.
Family benefits, which are awarded from your 2nd child, are paid at a rate that varies based on household income.

V. Preventing industrial accidents and occupational illnesses

Self-employed workers are not covered for industrial accidents and occupational illnesses. However, they can choose to take out voluntary coverage through their local health insurance fund (CPAM). This insurance does not entitle them to daily benefits.

However, the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme offers a prevention program called "Prévention Pro Indépendants" that includes specially tailored and personalized medical follow-up (a free medical appointment entirely dedicated to preventing on-the-job risks) as well as comprehensive information on the risks connected with different jobs and how to protect against them.

VI. Old age

To learn more about pension entitlements for craftspeople, manufacturers, and shopkeepers, please refer to the self-employed workers’ scheme’s website. The following information is also applicable to members of the unregulated private-practice professionals who are covered by the self-employed workers’ Social security scheme.

A. Statutory retirement age – Age of full-rate pension entitlement

As from July 1st, 2011, statutory retirement age has been gradually raised based on year of birth.

Date of birth Statutory retirement age
Prior to July 1, 1951 60
From July 1, 1951
to December 31, 1951
60 years 4 months
1952 60 years 9 months
1953 61 years 2 months
1954 61 years 7 months
1955 onwards 62

You can be awarded a full-rate retirement pension regardless of your length of insurance if you retire later.

Date of birth Statutory retirement age
Prior to July 1, 1951 65
From July 1, 1951
to December 31, 1951
65 years 4 months
1952 65 years 9 months
1953 66 years 2 months
1954 66 years 7 months
1955 onwards 67

B. Early retirement

Self-employed workers can retire prior to statutory age if they meet one of the following two requirements:

1. Early retirement on the basis of a long career

If you retire early on the basis of a long career, you will be able to claim your basic pension at the full rate.

Requirements for early retirement before age 60

All members who began working before age 16 are eligible for early retirement if they meet the following requirements. They must:

Requirements for early retirement at age 60 and up

Members who began working before age 20 are eligible for early retirement if they meet the following requirements. They must:

Eligibility for early retirement due to a long career is based only on the member's length of contributions:

2. Early retirement due to disability

Members with "disabled worker" status can retire early starting at age 55 if they meet the following requirements. To be eligible, they must:

Table valid for 2018 by birth year
Birth year Retirement age from Total length of insurance Length of contributions
1956 59 86 quarters 66 quarters
1957 59 86 quarters 66 quarters
1958 59 87 quarters 67 quarters
1959 58 97 quarters 77 quarters
1960 57 107 quarters 87 quarters
1961 56 118 quarters 98 quarters
1962 55 128 quarters 108 quarters

Length of insurance

Length of contributions

C. Insurance length increases

Additional quarters can be credited to a member's pension account through three different types of increase:

* These two increases can be awarded either to the mother alone, to the father alone, or to both parents. The rules for how they are divided depend on whether the child was born/ adopted before or after January 1st, 2010. To learn more, please refer to the self-employed workers’ scheme's website.

D. Pension rate increases

Any quarter of employment accrued after statutory retirement age and on which contributions were paid will increase the amount of your pension, provided that you have enough quarters for a full-rate pension.

This rate increase applies to periods of contributions accrued on or after January 1st, 2004.

For periods accrued from January 1st, 2004 to December 31st, 2008, the increase comes to:  :

For periods accrued from 2009 onward, the rate increase amounts to 1.25% per quarter, or 5% per year, regardless of the member's age or the number of quarters previously accrued. This new measure applies to pensions with an effective date on or after April 1st, 2009.

E. How retirement pensions are calculated

Entitlements arising from periods accrued prior to 1973 are calculated differently from those accrued after that date.

How the basic retirement pension is calculated

Average yearly income1 X rate2 X length of insurance (number of quarters accrued since 1973)3 / Reference length4 (maximum length of insurance)

1 - Your average yearly income is the average of your income from your best earning years, with an upper limit of the social security ceiling (40,524 € in 2019).
The number of years taken into account ranges from 10 to 25 depending on your year of birth (25 for members born in or after 1953).

2 - Rate:

The maximum rate of 50% (full rate) applies to members who:

Periods that count toward the rate are as follows:

If the insured does not have enough quarters or enough of a certain type of quarters but decides to retire sometime between statutory retirement age and the age of full-rate entitlement, a rate reduction applies. Indeed, his/her pension will be reduced by:

The rate reduction will apply to a maximum of 20 quarters.

3 - Your length of insurance (number of quarters accrued since 1973 under the craftspeoples' or shopkeepers' scheme) includes quarters of contributions, equivalent quarters (periods in the military or on medical leave, maternity, disability, or unemployment benefits), plus the child-related insurance length increase.

Pensions and quarters accrued as a craftsperson and shopkeeper are calculated separately.

4 - Reference length is the length of insurance required for a full-rate pension. It varies by birth year.

Birth year Required number of quarters for a full-rate pension Number of best earning years that count toward average yearly income Reference length
1950 162 22 best years 162
1951 163 23 best years 163
1952 164 24 best years 164
1953 - 1954 165 25 best years 165
1955 - 1957 166 25 best years 166
1958 - 1960 167 25 best years 167
1961 - 1963 168 25 best years 168
1964 - 1966 169 25 best years 169
1967 - 1969 170 25 best years 170
1970 - 1972 171 25 best years 171
1973 onwards 172 25 best years 172

F. Pension supplements

Several supplements can be added on to a member's main retirement pension.

G. The supplementary pension scheme

Supplementary pensions are calculated in points. The number of points accrued depends on the contributions that have been paid. The value of the point varies based on the date on which it was accrued. .

When you claim your pension, the number of points accrued is multiplied by the value of the point.

As from January 1st, 2013, craftspeople and shopkeepers have a separate shared supplementary pension scheme.

The supplementary retirement pension is paid in full if the pensioner has been awarded a basic pension at the full rate. It is reduced if the basic pension was awarded at a reduced rate.

Retirement pensions are liable to compulsory social security deductions, depending on the pensioner's reference tax income ("revenu fiscal de référence") and number of shares.

They will be either completely exempt, or liable to the following rates:

  • CSG (generalized social contributions): 8.3% or 3.8% based on tax bracket
  • CRDS (social security debt reimbursement contribution): 0.5%
  • CASA (additional solidarity and autonomy contribution): 0.3%

Pensioners whose tax residence is not in France are not subject to CSG-CRDS contributions but pay a specific health insurance contribution (7.10%).

VII. Disability

Craftspeople and shopkeepers can be awarded a disability pension following an illness or accident. These provisions also apply to members of the unregulated private-practice professions who are covered under the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme.

A. Eligibility requirements (applicable both to craftspeople and shopkeepers)

To be eligible, an applicant must:

The self-employed workers’ scheme’s disability insurance offers two types of benefits:

B. Pension for partial inability to work

A member can be awarded a pension for partial inability to work if his/her physical condition shows a loss of ability to work or to earn a living of more than 2/3 when compared to the physical condition required for his/her profession.

The annual pension amounts either to 30% of the member's average yearly income, or the average income on which contributions were paid over the member's 10 best years of employment (or of the member's total income when there are fewer than 10 calendar years of contributions).

C. Pension for total and permanent disability

This pension can be awarded if the member is medically recognized as having a total and permanent disability, and if the disability limits access to employment in a significant and ongoing manner.

The annual pension amounts to 50% of the member's average yearly income.

D. Entitlement amounts

The minimum and maximum disability insurance entitlements are listed here

These benefits are awarded up until the member reaches statutory retirement age.
Pension amounts may vary based on the results of one or more medical exams:

E. Pension top-ups

If you need assistance from a caregiver

If you are receiving a pension for a total and permanent disability and need ongoing help from a caregiver to perform the ordinary activities of daily living (getting up, going to bed, getting dressed, moving, eating), you may be eligible for a pension top-up of 1,121.92 € per month. This entitlement is suspended during any periods of hospitalization.

If you are on a low income

Members with a yearly income of under 8,542.33 € (for a single person) or 14,962.52 € (for a couple) can receive an additional disability allowance ("allocation supplémentaire d'invalidité") if they have an overall disability that reduces their ability to work or earn a living by at least 2/3.

This allowance is awarded at a rate of 4,913.20 € per year for a single person.

Important information

Through the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme’s health and social programs, certain types of aid can be paid to people who meet the requirements and are encountering difficulties due to a disability.

VIII. Widow's benefits – The death payment ("Capital décès")

A craftsperson’s or shopkeeper’s surviving spouse can be awarded a survivor’s pension following the member’s death while beneficiaries can be awarded a death payment (“capital-décès”). These programs also apply to the spouses and beneficiaries of members of unregulated private-practice professionals who were covered under the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme.

A. The survivor's pension from the basic scheme

The survivor's pension is a pension awarded to the surviving spouse.
It amounts to a portion of the basic retirement pension which the deceased member was drawing or would have been eligible for.

1. Eligibility requirements

2. Benefits

The survivor's pension from the basic scheme amounts to 54% of the entitlements which the deceased spouse had or would have been awarded. In 2019, awards range from 287 € to 911.79 € per month (minimum and maximum amounts).

If the surviving spouse is currently drawing a dependent spouse benefit, this will end and be substituted by the survivor's pension.

If the eligibility requirements are met, the survivor's pension can be paid alongside:

For shopkeepers: if the deceased spouse had paid contributions to the "spouses' scheme" ("régime des conjoints") prior to December 31st, 2003, the point-based survivor's pension can be increased to 75% when the widow or widower reaches age 65, or to 60% in the event of unfitness for work, if the length of marriage and contribution requirements are met.

B. The survivor's pension from the supplementary scheme

1. Eligibility requirements

The eligibility requirements are the same as for the survivor's pension from the basic scheme.

However, the financial requirements are different: the survivor's personal or household income must not exceed a certain ceiling which has been set at 79,464 €.

2. Benefits

The survivor's pension from the supplementary scheme amounts to 60% of the entitlement which the deceased spouse had or would have been awarded.

C. The death payment ("Capital décès")

The death payment ("capital décès") guarantees payment of a benefit to the deceased member's beneficiaries.

1. Eligibility requirements

The employed or retired member's death benefit is paid as a matter of first priority to beneficiaries who were actually, fully and permanently financially dependent on the member at the time of his/her death. These beneficiaries must have personal income of less than 10,418.40 € per year for a single person (This is the income cap that applies to applicants for the elderly solidarity allowance ("Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées"/ ASPA)).

The “dependent” must apply for the death payment ("capital décès") within two months of the member’s death. Past this deadline, if they apply within 2 years of the member’s death, it can be paid to the member’s spouse or dependent children, or to his/her ascendants if there is no spouse or children.  

2. Amounts

Source : the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme