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Hi All, I have been visiting this site for a while and am amazed at the depth of the knowledgability of many of the posters. Anyway, as my teenage son would say, the deal is this. I have been working as a volunteer in Africa for over 30 years, the last 15 in the field of HIV/aids education and support. I therefore have not built up the necessary record of NI contributions for a full UK pension. I have about 11 contributory years , 5 when working as a nurse and the rest as a fireman. Both my wife and I are over the French retirement age, and would like to relocate to France (after so many years overseas the UK holds few pleasures for us other than family) and wonder if anyone has advice re registering as residents, access to healthcare and the equivalent of UK pension credits. We would rent for at least the first year, and maybe buy in a few years as we expect to receive an inheritance in the future. Also I would like to continue working if able find employment. Also, any ideas for websites in France similar to Gumtree for rental properties, especially in the south. PS I have both UK and SA passports.
 

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As a UK national, you have every right to set up in France. The "bad news" however is that, unless you're entitled to a British pension (which it sounds like you're not) you can't just register for the French health care system. It's not residence based, but rather based on your having made recent contributions via your work - or being on an EU national pension.

If you're able to find employment, then you'll be contributing to the system through the cotisations (i.e. social insurance withholdings from your pay) but until you qualify, you'll need to have private health coverage for yourself and your wife. It may be possible after you've established residence in France to apply for the CMU, which is a flat rate health coverage based on your revenue. I'm not real familiar with all the details, but we have a number of folks here on the forum who should be able to guide you on that option.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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You should contact DWP in Newcastle as your are likely entitled to a (very small) part UK pension (assuming you are of UK retirement age).
 

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You should contact DWP in Newcastle as your are likely entitled to a (very small) part UK pension (assuming you are of UK retirement age).
absolutely critical , as long as you are in receipt [ or at least one of you ] of a uk state pension you will be eligable for uk state support in france

you don't give your age and you don't state if your wife has any entitlement

it used to be that making additional voluntary contributions to increase your pension was an excellent investment , but I don't know the current position , as EH says get in touch with DWP ...forthwith !
it may also be that the system still pertains that if you are resident in the uk you get free contributions until pension age if you are not working !!!
could be that your best strategy is to live in the uk until pension age THEN move to france , which is what I did so that by paying some voluntary contributions and getting the freebees I got a full pension , beyond you probably but you could make a dramatic improvement even without the critical uk health benefits
 

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You might also consider making some voluntary contributions to the UK state pension to increase its value. You can also delay claiming the UK state pension and it increases about 5% per year as a result, which, these days is not a bad investment. Another alternative is to relocate to the UK initially and pick up on the residence based NHS. Then I believe you can also request an EHIC card,(eurpoean health insurance card), which will work for an initial period in France (they are meant for holiday and travel periods, its a reciprocal arrangement).

It is a possible work around until you settle. The alternative is buying health insurance until you can get into the French system.
 
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