Retirement in France

Many people dream of, or look forward to, retirement in France.

We're not quite at retirement age just yet, but it is something that we have to bear in mind as I'm sure it'll come upon us sooner than we think!

If you are planning on retiring in the Charente, then the following information is brought to you directly from the French embassy in the UK, so it should be accurate. (But the rules and information change all the time, so do get in touch if you need any help.)

People residing in Great Britain, who are planning a permanent retirement in France should first inform their D.S.S. office a few weeks before their intended date of departure. The D.S.S. will set the necessary administrative arrangements in motion. (See address below).

If you are planning to move before you get your state pension (eg: you are already in receipt of your private pension)
You should apply for a form E106 (medical cover for up to 2 years) - see D.S.S. - Alternatively, you should consider opting for private insurance or voluntary contributions when the E106 expires or if you have not reached the age of state retirement (Contact your local French social security office).

People receiving a UK state pension only
If the pensioner does not get a pension from France at a later date, the United Kingdom will accept costs. A form E121GB will be issued on request from the pensioner to allow him to register for health care in France.

People receiving both a UK and French pensions
In this case, the French sickness insurance institution will be responsible for the health care costs and the pensioner will be treated as a French pensioner for health care purposes.

People who are receiving a UK pension and will eventually receive another EU pension at a later date
A form E121GB will be issued. When the French (or other European Union Country) pension becomes payable, the health care liabilities will be reviewed. For example, the E121GB may have to be cancelled if insurance periods in the other European Union country were no longer than those in the UK. The Health care costs will then be the responsibility of this European Union country, which will provide the form E121.

Further information can be obtained from the D.S.S. (see address below), especially leaflet SA29 "your special security, health care and pensions right in the European Community".

DSS - Overseas Branch
EU Office
Newcastle upon Tyne NE98 1YX
Tel: 0191 213 5000

You might also find the following websites and articles about retirement in France useful:

Retirement in France from AmbaFrance: contains information about the political, social and economic issues surrounding retirement in France, now and in the future.

Department for Work and Pensions: is a good starting point to surf the UK Government pages on retirement abroad.

Retirement & taxation issues: An interesting article regarding taxation benefits for those retiring to France.

And, don't forget, we're always happy to help if we can. So contact us if you have any questions at all.