Are there reductions for senior citizens in France?

We want to retire to France but would like to know: does France give reductions for “seniors” who live there? If so, would we be included if we are not French?  L.D.

24 October 2018
By Oliver Rowland

Yes, there are various reductions for older people in France and you do not have to be French to benefit.

Some (notably those from commercial organisations) are even available to non-residents if they spend enough time in France to benefit.

Here are some examples:

  • The SNCF’s Carte Sénior+ gives 25% off train fares in second class and up to 40% in first class. Reductions rise to 50% on local TER trains at off-peak times. The card costs €60/year but more than pays for itself if you use French trains often.
  • Air France and its low-cost subsidiary Hop! offer a reduction card priced €59/year for those aged over 65, with up to 30% off flights within France.
  • Local transport companies  offer reduced prices for older people. For example, the Lignes d’Azur bus and tram company on the Riviera offers a reduced-fare card for over-65s on proof of identity and age, but if you live in the area and are below the income tax threshold, then travel is free.
  • Some towns have special cards for reductions on cultural and leisure activities. For example, in Lyon and Nice there are free cards for over-65s or over-55s, respectively, who live in those areas. 
    However, many cultural activities (eg. cinemas) also offer reduced prices simply on proof of age.
  • There are various tax reductions or exemptions for resident older people with modest incomes, including an income tax allowance for over-65s, exemption from taxe d’habitation for over-60s and a reduction on taxe foncière for over-65s or exemption for the over-75s (the latter may also be available to non-residents if they request it).
  • Certain health benefits for those in the French health system are age-related, such as free flu vaccines for the over-65s or mammograms for women aged 50+.
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