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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have been working in france for a little over six months and I still have some nagging questions that remains unanswered. I know that a portion of my salary is being paid towards a state pension fund. However, I foresee that I will only be working here for a few years (say 3-5 yrs). What happens after that with regards to the money I've paid into the pension system. Is it totally gone? Can I "sell" it and retrieve a portion of what I've paid out? Or is it transferrable to my home pension system (see below)? Or can I come back in 30 yrs and still claim however little I may still be entitled? do I have to be a french resident when I claim it in 30 yrs? etc...

Regarding transfers between pension systems of different countries, more info here... I am from Singapore, and our "pension" system is different in that it is essentially a form of compulsory savings, where every cent we contribute is accounted for and will be disbursed back to us upon retirement (at a fixed monthly amount), with any leftovers upon death paid out to our estates. So it's not the same pension transfer questions that I've come across very often regarding transferability between french and british systems which are conceptually similar...

Any relevant info would be much appreciated.

Cheers...
 

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It depends a bit on what you do after the 3 to 5 years you are remaining in France. There are treaties between France and various countries regarding pension credits. For example, the US-France treaty allows for either (or in some cases both) pension systems to count the years worked in the other country toward pension entitlement (though the salary doesn't enter the calculation).

You time worked in France will also count (in some sense) toward any other European pension system you may wind up contributing to over your work life. Are you sure that you're most likely to go back to Singapore and work out the rest of your career there?
Cheers,
Bev

PS I had a friend who worked for 3 years in Switzerland, and now that she is back in the US and retired, she gets an annual check for a small amount (I think it was CHF 50 last time I spoke with her).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It depends a bit on what you do after the 3 to 5 years you are remaining in France....
Thank you for sharing your knowledge... Yes you are right that I don't know for sure where i'll end up in the future. It just seems logical now to want to eventually consolidate the benefits accrued in various countries into the single largest and most logical pool, which for me now is Singapore, where I have birth rights to citizenship and residence. Also, personally speaking, I do favor the Singapore system better as every dollar I contribute is mine and only mine, accumulating in the sovereign wealth funds. In contrast, it's not rare to hear from other friends lamenting their lack of confidence in their own pension systems surviving till the day they retire, as what they pay into the fund today is already being disbursed out to current pensioners, coupled with the governments of the day progressively reducing payouts. Anyway, there are pros and cons to the different systems, and I'm not here to compare one system against another. Neither am I only specifically seeking answers about transferring pension into the singapore system. I thought that this would be a question that might also be on the minds of anyone who knows that they will probably not be working in France for extended lengths, especially non-EU citizens where it's even less likely for mutual recognition/treaties between pension systems.

Any other thoughts on these matters are more than welcome...

edit: btw, my many months of revisiting this matter has not yet yielded any evidence of a Singapore-France treaty...
 

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I was thinking about the same thing...Australia has the same system as Singapore, we call it Superannuation. I don't know if you can do this, but we can make voluntary contributions to our pension fund...this might be a good idea although I'd also want to be able to get the money that would have gone towards my French pension.
 

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AFAIK, there is no option to get your French pension contributions back when you leave France. "Temporary" workers can be granted a reprieve for up to the first five years for paying into the French cotisations, as long as their employers apply for it and confirm that the employee is still actively contributing to the social insurance system back home.

The French government has been cracking down on this system, however, because some large multi-national employers have been abusing the system to simply avoid paying the employer's share of the social insurances for the first five years someone is working in France.

If you can continue to contribute to your home country system, that's the way to go. (The US has a couple of various "tax-deferred" retirement savings plans, but you can't contribute while you are working abroad.)

And, even with just a couple of years of contributions, you will get some pension if you apply for it when the time comes. Just don't forget about claiming it!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Voluntary contribution is possible but not entirely relevant in the singapore system. While I know that in the French/British systems it is important to continue clocking time credits through voluntary contributions, time-credits do not come into play in the singapore system. The monthly payout rate is the same irrespective of time-credits. You get back only what you paid in... no more... no less...The more you pay in the longer it will last. That's all. it's a savings and not an investment vehicle. No magic to increase the value possible. Though the system does give slightly higher interest rates, I'd prefer to maintain some liquidity and set aside/invest some money outside of the governmental system... I've got some years of work back in singapore already with contributions during that time, so I think the current balance of governmental vs. private savings is good for me... All it takes is some self-control to not squander it all... :)

Thanks for informing me of the possible 5-yr reprieve for "Temp" workers. I'll try to find out more about that, or it'll be great too if anyone has any direct links to the source of this info.

Great discussion... I am learning more and more about the various systems in the world...
 

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I think about the only way you can find out more about the 5 year temporary reprieve from cotisations is through your employer. Not all employers are eligible to initiate this - and they have to be making your payments into the government system back home for you.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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