Multiple state pensions maze and confusion

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Multiple state pensions maze and confusion


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Old 7th September 2010, 10:21 PM
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Default Multiple state pensions maze and confusion

Can anybody help ? If not have a smile at my expense.

I have been working in France for 3+ years as self employed, (under the micro entreprise system) thus obligatorily paying into the French pension system via CIPAV, the pension body covering my sector of independent workers. Working here has given me health cover via RAM after my E106 (CPAM cover) expired.

I have entitlement to a full UK pension after topping up my contributions, a small Dutch state pension from an earlier period of residence and work in the Netherlands and now, I hope, a very small French pension.

This is where the fun is starting.

I decided to continue working after turning 65 last January, ask for my Dutch pension immediately, defer my UK pension until 2011 and to wait until I stop work before drawing my French pension in the vain hope that it might grow a tiny bit. That was encouraged by the fact that if you continue working after drawing your French pension you still have to pay pension contributions but they do not count for anything.

Th current EU rules say you have to apply for all your state pensions via the last country in which you worked, France in my case. If I understand it correctly, the spirit of this single application point is to ensure no migrant worker receives less pension than he would be theoretically entitled to, if all his contributions had been made in one country, presumably the last worked in. To effect this and exchange information, there is a complex set of forms, E202, E205, E207 etc.

So I wrote to CIPAV to ask if all of this was possible and request the necessary forms to start the ball rolling. They eventually sent me a standard application form for my French pension and ignored all my other questions. Good start. Phoning them is almost impossible, “Tous nos conseillers sont occupés, blah blah…” Eventually, when I got through, they agreed they had sent the wrong form but didn’t know which one was needed because there were so many, could I ask the Dutch and let them know! Both the Dutch and the British told me about the E202 form set. Next, curiously out of the blue, I received 2 completed E205s from the French, one for NL and the other for UK. One should have gone directly to NL not to me, the other who knows?

It was now time to start the application for my UK pension so in August, off went a letter to CIPAV requesting a “BR1” form as advised by the UK pension people.
All I got from CIPAV was another standard application form for a French pension and a promise to answer my questions by separate letter. In a subsequent phone call CIPAV stated they did not have the BR1 form and that I should ask the UK for one.
One call to the UK told me to download one. Download I did but more questions than answers led to a subsequent call to ask for advice on completing it. It then transpired that this was not the right form at all.


Six months down the line after many phone calls to the Dutch and the British and fewer to CIPAV I am still waiting for the correct forms to complete and the Dutch are still waiting for the French to send them them a completed E202.

How they will cope with staggered pension applications? The system seems floored.
Three different calls to the UK office got three differing answers. The French clearly do not know which forms to use. Neither the British nor the Dutch can tell me which form to complete to give the French the necessary information.

There may be light at the end of the tunnel. When the UK was pressed on where I should go to get help they recommended CLEISS (Center of European and International Liaisons for Social Security). CLEISS suggested that I should contact RSI, my equivalent to the National Insurance Office, rather than CIPAV the pension people. Now is that logical, or is it me ? Curious that CIPAV never mentioned anything.
Anybody out there got the tee-shirt ?

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Old 8th September 2010, 07:42 AM
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Hi,
I don't know about the details of this , but I am aware of a possible "catch-22" with multiple pensions. Several other forums have had posts from people who have done as you and qualified for a small french pension alongside their UK state pension, and claimed through the french caisse. They say that ,because they are ,and continue to be, covered for health via the french system, the UK refuses to issue the E121 that normally accompanies the pension.
The problem is that it is only possession of E121 that exempts all pensions from CSG CRDS etc as paid by french pensioners. Only some posters have said this happened to them , but I think you should concentrate on getting the E121(now called S1).
As I say I have no direct experience of this , but if you you look on total france and complete france you will find extensive discussions.

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Old 8th September 2010, 08:10 AM
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Thanks for that advice Parsnips.

I was also wondering about what happened when I stopped working, ie did the French system continue to cover me or would I be covered on the E121(S1). I vaguely remember reading somewhere that you needed to work here for 5 years to gain automatic rights, but could be wrong. What if I ceased working to co-incide with the start of my UK pension, might that help in qualifying for the S1 ? Can you comment on that?

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Old 8th September 2010, 08:28 AM
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I don't really have much experience with multiple pensions but the procedure for claiming as you describe it, sounds a complete nightmare . I know this as I had had a previous experience with EDF - to be honest, I think the French system is rather dated, and should be changed. My conjecture is, it gets worse with the complex EU machinery. It seems as if they're all waiting for France which cannot get its act together - in the meantime, you need your pension.
I delayed my state pension in the UK for two years and had a lump sum to go with the weekly payments ; but the inland revenue digs deep into every thing one earned; including one's pensions.

I gather it's simplest and best to apply for your pension direct to the UK - look up the pensions website and get the correct form or make an enquiry but make sure it's between you and the UK State Pensions. Similarly, I suggest you deal directly with the Dutch and the French - so you'll get three separate pensions and their other benefits. It'll mean you're an interstate resident - I really don't think the EU has made explicitly clear guide lines for France which also has its own rules and regulation.

Perhaps when you have completed and are receiving pensions from these 3 countries, they all might send you the correct forms.

I had learnt this the hard way. I had previously thought the Ministry would have clear records of our employment, pension contributions etc but they don't unless you show them the papers. Instead, they have a constantly changing work force, often peopled by those temping too; and they're more prepared to pay less than more.

Alternatively, you could make enquiries with the Financial Ombudsmen - they're highly professional and operates in clear, simple ways. Good luck!
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Old 8th September 2010, 09:00 AM
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I had written a reply, but it got lost in the ozone when I went to post it. Will try to reconstruct the main points here:

A few years ago, France implemented a system of doing a pre-retirement pension review at age 57 or 58. This was (I thought) supposed to take into account some of the multi-state issues, as the forms I received for this review asked me to indicate my work history outside of France. Shortly after I returned the forms, I started to get mailings from the US and German pension authorities based on "my queries" into my pension rights. The Americans said they wouldn't discuss anything until 3 months before my 65th birthday (which is fine by me) and the Germans sent a whole bunch of forms, which I proceeded to fill out, then figured out that this was for claiming my benefit from them (only worked 2.5 years in Germany) and killed the process.

The French ultimately came back with a laughably small figure, which would double if I put off my retirement until age 65. But, as there are two parts to the French retirement benefit (basic and complementary), I then got another envelope, thick with paper documenting my work history and giving me my point total, which doesn't seem to translate directly into a monthly euro figure but says I am indeed entitled to receive something.

Originally it was supposed to be the case that the country you retired in would take into account all your working history within the EU when tallying up your ultimate pension benefit - and so you had to retire once and for all so the claims could be filed simultaneously. From various things I've read, it seems this system (which would have been nice) has vanished, though when or why I have no idea.

I would limit my dealings, however, to the RSI in your case. They're a fairly new agency here in France, but they seem to be centralizing all the various separate agencies that dealt with employee benefits for "independents." But they've had their own teething pains over the last couple years in getting themselves up and running.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 8th September 2010, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivestone View Post
Thanks for that advice Parsnips.

I was also wondering about what happened when I stopped working, ie did the French system continue to cover me or would I be covered on the E121(S1). I vaguely remember reading somewhere that you needed to work here for 5 years to gain automatic rights, but could be wrong. What if I ceased working to co-incide with the start of my UK pension, might that help in qualifying for the S1 ? Can you comment on that?
Hi,
The 5 year thing is for "inactive" immigrants to qualify for the CMU and would not apply to someone covered via previous pensionable employment in France.
As for your other question - I am really not qualified to give a definitive answer(if such a thing exists!). But anneteoh's answer seems sensible to me.

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Old 8th September 2010, 11:07 AM
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Thank you all Parsnip, Bev and Annteoh for your advice and replies. Unfortunately applying directly to each state is not an available option because of the rules and my current work status and both the UK & NL have confirmed this.

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Old 8th September 2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivestone View Post
Thank you all Parsnip, Bev and Annteoh for your advice and replies. Unfortunately applying directly to each state is not an available option because of the rules and my current work status and both the UK & NL have confirmed this.
That's kind of what I suspected. Try contacting RSI to see if you can do one of those pre-retirement evaluations at least from the French side of things. I can't say I fully understand the report they sent me, but it does seem to put your case on their radar.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 2nd July 2012, 03:28 PM
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Hi
How didyou get on with CIPAV?
I have made 5yrs contributions to them and am due to get both a French and English Pension next year.
I understand I have to apply via CIPAV for my UK pension and am anxious to start the process (knowing it will take long while!)
The UK have not been helpful, just telling me to contact the French. But I can't find anything published about the French procedures. I wrote to CIPAV ast month, and of course have not had any reply yet - no doubt they are all off for the next two months.
David

Quote:
Originally Posted by olivestone View Post
Can anybody help ? If not have a smile at my expense.

I have been working in France for 3+ years as self employed, (under the micro entreprise system) thus obligatorily paying into the French pension system via CIPAV, the pension body covering my sector of independent workers. Working here has given me health cover via RAM after my E106 (CPAM cover) expired.

I have entitlement to a full UK pension after topping up my contributions, a small Dutch state pension from an earlier period of residence and work in the Netherlands and now, I hope, a very small French pension.

This is where the fun is starting.

I decided to continue working after turning 65 last January, ask for my Dutch pension immediately, defer my UK pension until 2011 and to wait until I stop work before drawing my French pension in the vain hope that it might grow a tiny bit. That was encouraged by the fact that if you continue working after drawing your French pension you still have to pay pension contributions but they do not count for anything.

Th current EU rules say you have to apply for all your state pensions via the last country in which you worked, France in my case. If I understand it correctly, the spirit of this single application point is to ensure no migrant worker receives less pension than he would be theoretically entitled to, if all his contributions had been made in one country, presumably the last worked in. To effect this and exchange information, there is a complex set of forms, E202, E205, E207 etc.

So I wrote to CIPAV to ask if all of this was possible and request the necessary forms to start the ball rolling. They eventually sent me a standard application form for my French pension and ignored all my other questions. Good start. Phoning them is almost impossible, “Tous nos conseillers sont occupés, blah blah…” Eventually, when I got through, they agreed they had sent the wrong form but didn’t know which one was needed because there were so many, could I ask the Dutch and let them know! Both the Dutch and the British told me about the E202 form set. Next, curiously out of the blue, I received 2 completed E205s from the French, one for NL and the other for UK. One should have gone directly to NL not to me, the other who knows?

It was now time to start the application for my UK pension so in August, off went a letter to CIPAV requesting a “BR1” form as advised by the UK pension people.
All I got from CIPAV was another standard application form for a French pension and a promise to answer my questions by separate letter. In a subsequent phone call CIPAV stated they did not have the BR1 form and that I should ask the UK for one.
One call to the UK told me to download one. Download I did but more questions than answers led to a subsequent call to ask for advice on completing it. It then transpired that this was not the right form at all.


Six months down the line after many phone calls to the Dutch and the British and fewer to CIPAV I am still waiting for the correct forms to complete and the Dutch are still waiting for the French to send them them a completed E202.

How they will cope with staggered pension applications? The system seems floored.
Three different calls to the UK office got three differing answers. The French clearly do not know which forms to use. Neither the British nor the Dutch can tell me which form to complete to give the French the necessary information.

There may be light at the end of the tunnel. When the UK was pressed on where I should go to get help they recommended CLEISS (Center of European and International Liaisons for Social Security). CLEISS suggested that I should contact RSI, my equivalent to the National Insurance Office, rather than CIPAV the pension people. Now is that logical, or is it me ? Curious that CIPAV never mentioned anything.
Anybody out there got the tee-shirt ?

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Old 24th June 2013, 06:42 AM
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Default Also need help with CIPAV

Hi,
I am in exactly the same situation as a couple of the people who have posted.
I have worked in the UK, Germany and France (currently resident).
I started in 2006 as a Micro-Enterprise paying my Cotisations via the RSI and then discovered I had to pay CIPAV separately. Started paying them in 2007 and all seemed OK.
In January received an invitation from French Government to join the system used by Auto-Entrepreneurs to pay my Cotisations, that meant no direct payments to CIPAV anymore but all should be paid to RSI. Took 14 months for CIPAV to accept.
In September 2012 URSSAF decided that I was now an Auto-Entrepreneur and that I should pay all to them.
As I shall be 65 in September I decided to contact CIPAV to start the ball rolling as per the previous posts. Wrote to CIPAV on March 28th - no reply, again on April 28th - no reply and lastly on May 28th - no reply. As their phone system only tells me "All consultants are busy" can any of you guys who have gone through this let me know how it ended up?
I have contacted the UK and they told me to complete a BR1 form and send it direct to them. Germany has told me to write in August (retirement there is 65 + 2 months).
I should maybe point out that all my Pension Cotisations paid via the Auto-Entrepreneur system from 01/2009 to today are missing from the "Mon Relevee" available via cipav-retraite.fr and URSSAF cannot tell me where they are. Those prior to end 2008 are showing correctly.
Is there any organisation that can help out here in France?


Last edited by misterbnny; 24th June 2013 at 06:48 AM.
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