Reader question: As a new British state pensioner I have received an S1 but have not registered it with my Cpam health body. As I have been an auto-entrepreneur since 2014, I can qualify for a monthly €45 French pension should I choose. If I do not take this can I use my S1 to obtain reduced social charges on my investments and UK pensions?
It is true that there are potential social charge benefits if you register an S1 as you are not considered a burden on the French health service and the UK will refund France for your health costs.
An exemption for foreign pension income can be claimed by selecting box 8RP on your next French income declaration, and a reduction for property and investment income can be confirmed by selecting box 8SH.
French-based official international social security experts Cleiss said it would be acceptable to use the S1 in such cases as long as the French pension body allows you to renounce the pension and the UK accepts that S1 claimants may do so.
This is significant, as claiming a French pension means your healthcare will be linked to that instead.
French pension caisses we contacted said it was possible not to claim a pension or to explicitly formalise this by renouncing it in writing (you would use wording such as je souhaite renoncer définitivement à mes droits à une pension de retraite).
UK government sources have said it is acceptable for people to use an S1 as long as they are not receiving a French state pension or similar benefits giving rise to healthcare benefits via France.
They suggest anyone considering this should take advice before giving up a pension entitlement permanently.