Supplementary retirement aid in France not claimed by 50% of people, according to a study

About 50% of people eligible for the pension supplement do not apply for it, a study by the government research and statistics agency Drees.

The solidarity allowance for the elderly (Aspa), commonly called in France “minimum old age‘, is a monthly amount accessible to low-income seniors aged 65 and over.

It is accessible to people living alone or as a couple, whose eligibility depends on their income.

The new Drees study, published on May 18, which examined people living alone whose resources were estimated to put them in the range to benefit from it, revealed that in 2016, out of 646,800 eligible people, only 325,700 demanded it.

People who didn’t claim it lost an average of $205 a month, Drees said.

Of the people who apply for Aspa, they receive an average of €337 in Aspa payments per month.

Those who did not claim it were slightly more likely to be female and more likely to be older, with the average age of those who claimed it being 75.8, compared to 78 for those who did not ask for it.

Who is eligible for Aspa?

You must be at least 65 years old and earn less than €916.78 per month if you live alone or €1,423.31 if you are in a relationship. It should be noted that if you live with your child, whether they are of age or not, it still counts as if you lived alone.

Certain types of income are not included in the calculation, such as housing or disability benefits.

How much can you get?

To live alone:

The maximum amount you can receive from Aspa payments is €916.78 per month (€11,001.39 per year).

You must also have resources below this amount to be able to benefit from Aspa.

The amount you are entitled to is the difference between the amount you received and the maximum amount of the Aspa payment.

So, for example, if you receive €800 per month from your pension (or any other income), you would be entitled to €116.78 per month from Aspa.

Live together :

You can receive a maximum of €1,423.31 per month (€17,079.72 per year).

The amount you can get is the difference between your monthly income and the maximum amount you could get from Aspa.

If your combined income as a couple is €1,000, then you would be entitled to €423.31 per month from Aspa.

PLEASE NOTE: The Aspa received can be recovered by the French State from the beneficiary’s estate after his death, but only if the net value of the estate is greater than €39,000. Reimbursement only relates to the part exceeding this. In the case of a surviving spouse or partner, or other dependents who lived with the person, it is often possible to defer repayment until their own death.

Can non-French people benefit from the aid?

Non-French people residing in France are eligible for Aspa under certain conditions.

  • You must be 65 or older

  • If you are of French nationality or of EEA nationality, you obtain the right if you reside in France. This also applies to Britons covered by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

  • If you are of a non-EEA nationality, including Britons who have moved to France since January 1, 2021, you can only apply if you have previously resided legally in France for at least 10 years, holder of a card of stay which allowed you to work. This will not be the case for people who will settle in France as retirees. There are some minor exceptions to this, including people who have served France in a military capacity and refugees etc.

  • You must be a legal resident in France (i.e. have your main residence in France and reside there for more than six months in the year)

Please see our explanatory article below which outlines the Aspa application process, including the process for non-French speakers.

Read more: Can foreign residents claim the French pension supplement?

You can check your eligibility for Aspa at this government site here (in French).

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