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Australians in France: What you need to know about your pension

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
Australians in France: What you need to know about your pension

The food. The weather. The wine. The lifestyle. France has plenty to offer retirees - but it's always a good idea to check the situation around pensions before you move.


About 5,000 Australians live in France, but if you're planning to retire here, there are some things you need to check first.

Claiming your pension

Australian and French authorities do not yet have an international social security agreement - and that means that if Australians living in France may not be able to claim their pension from Australia.

So, while you can be an Australian living in Austria, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Spain or Estonia, among others, and still claim your Australian pension, this is not the case in France. 

What's crucial here is when you move - if you start receiving your pension and then you move to France, it's no problem.

If, however, you move to France before you reach pension age, then you will not be able claim.


A spokesperson for the Australian government told The Local: "To be eligible for Age Pension, a person must generally be an Australian resident and be in Australia at the time the claim is lodged, or in a country with which there is an International Social Security Agreement in place."

There is no such agreement with France.

And, despite the efforts of some of the thousands of Australians living in France to get politicians in both countries to act, there appears to be little urgency to change the situation, which means it could be some time yet before we are able to give you any good news on the pension front.

More information on claiming Age Pension and residency can be found here: Residence rules for Age Pension - Age Pension - Services Australia and information on International Social Security Agreements here: International social security agreements - Services Australia


People that are already receiving the Age Pension are able to continue to do so when travelling or relocating outside of Australia even for longer periods of time. However their rate of payment and supplements may change, depending on their circumstances and the length of time they are outside Australia.

Relevant information can be found here.

There’s also some information about Pensioner Concession Cards while overseas here.

Tax matters

You should inform tax authorities in Australia that you’re moving to France. 

Pensioners here are treated favourably, with a 10 percent reduction factored in on income up to €36,600. You also pay tax as a household so you probably end up paying less tax than you might elsewhere.

If you own property in France expect to pay property taxes in addition to taxes on your income.

Once you have been living in France for three months you are entitled to register within the health system and if you become ill, incapacitated or need extra care as you get older, France has a generous social security system

As a resident of France, you will be required to file an annual tax declaration, even if all your income (such as a pension or income from rental property) comes from Australia.

EXPLAINED How to make a tax declaration in France

Currency matters

Be aware that currency fluctuations will mean that the amount that finally makes it into your bank account will change from month to month.

In all cases, it is best to obtain independent advice that's appropriate to your personal situation, from a financial expert.


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