Can I pay to top up my French pension?

We explain how it is possible to buy additional 'trimestres' and and if you have paid into NI in the UK then you may also still be eligible for a UK pension 

27 September 2021

International specialists in pensions do exist, but first stop should be speaking to whoever your pension 'caisse' is in France Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

Reader question: I been working for an IT company in France for 20 years and have built up 75 trimestres (quarters) of pension contributions. Although I am 62, I will not retire until I am 67, which will take me to 99 trimestres. However, I believe that to get a full pension in France, I would need 179. Is it possible to buy additional trimestres? In addition, I have 22 years of NI built up in the UK – can I transfer that to my French pension?

It is possible to buy additional trimestres and you should contact the pension caisse to which you pay your pension contributions about this.

On the second point, it is not possible to use UK state pension contributions to directly add to your French pension but you will still be eligible for your UK pension, and the fact of having years of contributing to the UK system may help to avoid your French pension being reduced due to a lack of ‘full’ contributing years in France.

This is due to EU social security coordination rules that have been maintained post-Brexit.

You should speak to your pension caisse about this, although international specialists in pensions do exist.

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