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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I was recently employed by a French company back in December of 2016.

Since I am paying my cotisations in France what do I have to inform the US of? I have no plans of going back anytime soon and was not transferred from a US company.

Thanks.
 

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As long as you are not in a position to start claiming benefits from the US you have no particular obligation to report anything to the SS Administration. You will simply have no US SS withholdings (nor credits) for 2017 and any other years while you are working in France (or outside the US).

Come retirement time (i.e. age 62 or later) you can put in a request to start receiving your benefits - and actually, some time before that you should get a SS statement from the US advising you of what information they have on file for you. (Or you can request a statement from the SS website.)

As long as you have a couple of years in the US system, they will count your time worked outside the US in any country with which the US has a Social Security treaty (including France) to get you to the 10 years (40 quarters) needed to vest for retirement benefits. Once you start receiving benefits, then you have to notify them of all changes of status and any "foreign" (to the US) pensions you are receiving at that time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As long as you are not in a position to start claiming benefits from the US you have no particular obligation to report anything to the SS Administration. You will simply have no US SS withholdings (nor credits) for 2017 and any other years while you are working in France (or outside the US).

Come retirement time (i.e. age 62 or later) you can put in a request to start receiving your benefits - and actually, some time before that you should get a SS statement from the US advising you of what information they have on file for you. (Or you can request a statement from the SS website.)

As long as you have a couple of years in the US system, they will count your time worked outside the US in any country with which the US has a Social Security treaty (including France) to get you to the 10 years (40 quarters) needed to vest for retirement benefits. Once you start receiving benefits, then you have to notify them of all changes of status and any "foreign" (to the US) pensions you are receiving at that time.
Cheers,
Bev
I think I have like 20 years in the US... Is it more beneficial to move those years into the French system or leave it in the US? I probably have another 20 more years to go... let's hope! :)
 

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I think I have like 20 years in the US... Is it more beneficial to move those years into the French system or leave it in the US? I probably have another 20 more years to go... let's hope! :)
That's not an option. Come retirement time, you will receive a US pension based on those 20 years (it only takes 10 to qualify). Then, in the French system, you'll get credit for whatever time you work here, plus credit for the 20 years in the US (although NOT for the salary level for those 20 years).

The US system will "adjust" your benefit for the fact you are receiving a "foreign" pension (it's called the Windfall Elimination Program, the WEP) and so you'll actually receive multiple pensions. (The French pension system consists of two or three separate payments as it is. Possibly more if you change pension caisse during your career in France.)

So, no, there is no notification you need to do now. And there is no transfer of your time from one system to the next. In a few years, the French system (CNAV) will contact you about doing an initial estimate of your French benefits, and at this time will ask you about the "blanks" in your career. At this point you tell them that you were working in the US (and which years) and they'll contact the US Social Security to confirm this. Easiest if you already have a statement about your US SS history (which you can request on their website).

It's a pretty slick system, all told. Have just gotten through all the claiming part - and am receiving my French and German pensions. US SS due to start shortly, with still a little bit of administrative stuff to sort out, but at this stage, I'm mostly waiting for the SS lines at the Consulate to re-open after their summer holidays.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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That's not an option. Come retirement time, you will receive a US pension based on those 20 years (it only takes 10 to qualify). Then, in the French system, you'll get credit for whatever time you work here, plus credit for the 20 years in the US (although NOT for the salary level for those 20 years).
I have trouble understanding this. So, if someone works in the US for 20 years and then works in France for 4 years (paying cotisations to CIPAV) and then retires at age 62, they would be entitled to french retirement benefits based on 24 years of service? How would they figure out the benefit amount? It must be small because there would be only four years of contributions.
 

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I have trouble understanding this. So, if someone works in the US for 20 years and then works in France for 4 years (paying cotisations to CIPAV) and then retires at age 62, they would be entitled to french retirement benefits based on 24 years of service? How would they figure out the benefit amount? It must be small because there would be only four years of contributions.
Best place to insure you get accurate info would be Social Security Office at the Embassy.
They deal with these issues daily and provide current info.


Jet Lat
g
 

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Best place to insure you get accurate info would be Social Security Office at the Embassy.
They deal with these issues daily and provide current info.


Jet Lat
g
Thanks, but I am not sure the US Social Security Administration would be much help in calculating benefits under the french system. The SSA seems to have trouble figuring out the amount of its own benefits ;)
 

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Thanks, but I am not sure the US Social Security Administration would be much help in calculating benefits under the french system. The SSA seems to have trouble figuring out the amount of its own benefits ;)
That's to bad. Here in the Philippines SS works closely with not only the VFW but the local tax commission to insure everything is done right if a person wants the help.

Best of luck..
 

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I have trouble understanding this. So, if someone works in the US for 20 years and then works in France for 4 years (paying cotisations to CIPAV) and then retires at age 62, they would be entitled to french retirement benefits based on 24 years of service? How would they figure out the benefit amount? It must be small because there would be only four years of contributions.
I'm not certain how long you have to have worked in France to be eligible for a pension where you count your foreign years. But it's entirely possible. I did something like this after having worked only 2.5 years in Germany. The pension is only a nominal amount, but it gets deposited every month.

On the US side, you only need 10 years (40 quarters) to vest in the retirement system. In France you need 40 or 42 years (160 or 168 quarters) for a "full pension." (At some point you can receive a "half pension" if you don't make the full requirement.)

In your example, what counts is that you would have 24 years of service, so probably only a half pension. They would then calculate your pension amount based on your earnings for the 4 years you worked in France. Yes, the amount would be small - depending on what you earned while in France.

At the same time, in your example, you'd be entitled to a "full" US SS pension (because you'd worked more than the 10 years) and again, the amount is based on your earnings while in the States (so only 20 years' worth, given that the formula counts 30 years of salary/SS contributions) so in the end, you'd wind up getting something less than what you would have done had you worked for at least 30 years in the US (because 10 of your years would be 0 contributions). Add to that, the WEP kicks in and they deduct from whatever amount you are due for the fact that you receive a foreign pension (limited to one-half the amount of the foreign pension you receive).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In the French system, you can retire at 62 and receive your full retirement benefits if you have paid into the system for 42 years. (If you don't have the full 42 years but you still wish to take retirement at 62, your benefits are reduced). The CARSAT (or other caisses de retraite) will take into account the years you worked abroad along with those worked in France to calculate your number of "trimestres cotisés". I think that's what Bev meant when she talked about getting 'credit for the 20 years' worked in the US. The caisse will then calculate partial pension rights based on what has been paid into the French system.

edit: cross-posted
 

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Of course, the retirement age in France might not be 62 at the time the OP is considering retiring..
Nothing on the cards yet, EH, but unless Mélenchon (or Marine :eek:) get elected, you're right, the retirement age won't be coming down and the number of trimestres required for full pension will most certainly go up, but the CARSAT lets you know how you stand a couple of years before you retire.
 
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