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What do I get from social charges?

Our pensions are paid by the UK, our medical expenses are paid by the UK, so what benefits are we likely to receive?

My wife and I receive UK state pensions of €800 per month. To supplement this, I registered as an auto-entrepreneur to do odd jobs. I now pay the government 21.3 per cent of my earnings in social charges. Our pensions are paid by the UK, our medical expenses are paid by the UK, so what benefits are we likely to receive? S.A.

A spokesman for the RSI, the main body collecting social charges from auto-entrepreneurs, said that, first, you have no choice about paying the charges.

This is owing to European regulations that state you have to comply with the rules of the country where you are working (whether or not you have benefits coming from elsewhere).

Now you are working, you should be getting your health cover in France via the RSI, not from Britain, the spokesman said. While this aspect may not give you any new benefits, some of your social charge payments will also be going towards French retirement pension rights.

As with a French person, the amount of pension you build up will depend on how many trimesters (three-month periods) you have worked when you claim.

Note, however, that to clock up a full four trimesters per year, you have to have income equivalent to 23 weeks’ salary at the minimum wage.

On the other hand, if you earn a minimal amount, you will only “validate” one trimester a year. You can claim your French pension at any age, so the longer you work, the more you get.

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