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Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

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Old Oct 13th 2018, 11:55 am
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Default Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Hi my name is Paul if you hadn't guessed.

My wife Hayley and I are planning on moving to France somewhere between Sarlat and Bergerac, at the moment we are waiting to see what effect Brexit has on things and we are unable to proceed as we have a poorly mum to look after, and she isn't keen on coming with us which I fully understand.

I will be retiring as a Police officer as circumstances permit.

Sorry to start on the forum with questions but hopefully you appreciate that planning this move is partly dependent on financial circumstances.

My initial questions are relating to tax and healthcare.

Neither of us will be of pensionable age but we will have my police pension and lump sum.

Will my English police pension subject to french social charges?
Will I pay tax on the drawdown on my lump sum?
Will I be able to access the French healthcare system?

I've done some research online but there is a lot of conflicting information, and I suspect that it better to seek advice from those who actually reside in France.

Thanks in advance for any comments or information.
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Old Oct 13th 2018, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Hi Paul
Funnily enough I've just started looking into taking a UK pension as a French resident. Still in the very early stages of info gathering but from what little I've gleaned so far, it definitely seems to be better to take the lump sum while you are still UK resident, because it can be taken tax free in the UK and it can't in France. An option which unfortunately I don't have :-( but you do.

I haven't clarified social charges myself yet so won't try to answer you on that.

I don't think you will have a problem accessing the healthcare system because under the new healthcare system introduced a couple of years ago, everyone who resides legally in France has the right to healthcare, at least that's the theory and it does seem to work in practice too. Contributions are based on income and there are exceptions for pensioners but there seems to be some confusion about whether this applies to any pension or only to state pensioners or only to French state pensioners, and whether it's only the pension income that is exempted or all your income. As said it's a new system, last year was the first time folks were billed and the exercise threw up a few wrinkles to be ironed out. But there shouldn't be any problem in principle over being allowed to join, although worst case scenario you may have to wait 3 months before you can apply and make other arrangements for those 3 months.

Hope this helps. Why that particular area, if I may ask?
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Old Oct 13th 2018, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Hi Paul,
In France, unlike the UK, pensioners continue to pay NIC on their income and savings interest (someone confirm).
That would be your ongoing contribution to the french healthcare system.
In addition, you would only be covered for 70% of your healthcare costs and you would need to take out a mutuelle insurance to cover the other 30%.
@ET you should enquire what pension you would get if you dont take your lump sum. The only two reasons for taking a lump sum are:
a) it is tax-free.
b) you need /desire a sum of cash.
If you don't take the lump sum then you should get a larger monthly pension and if you live long enough then you can gain substantially.
HTH
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

I was in a similar situation, eleven years ago. Things clearly have changed since then.

However, if you don't take your tax-free lump sum, and receive an increased pension instead, that'll be taxed, wherever you are...
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 8:47 am
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Originally Posted by Chris'nJulie View Post
I was in a similar situation, eleven years ago. Things clearly have changed since then.

However, if you don't take your tax-free lump sum, and receive an increased pension instead, that'll be taxed, wherever you are...
Very true, but normally if you spread taxation over a period of time then you potentially pay tax at a lower rate.
It is not possible to generalise on the best way to manage a pension.
It depends on each individuals circumstances. Married or in civil partnership or not. Children or not. Type of pension. How long they will live.
If you live longer than the average person then a larger monthly pension (especially if indexed linked) will give better income into old age.
If you are going to have to pay tax on your "tax-free" lump sum then it comes down to how you want to be taxed.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Hi EuroTrash.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Waiting 3 months to access the system echos what I'd read elsewhere, and the whole tax thing is confusing.
I was planning on taking my lump sum before moving and using it as a drawdown until my state pension kicks in and Hayleys after another 2 years. As a Police pension from what I have read it may be exempt from social charges, and it will be taxed at source in the UK. Which is unfortunate as I would think it would be fairer to pay my taxes in France, but I don't get a choice.
As for that part of France, I have spent holidays in France for the last 30 years or so, and have returned to this area frequently despite sampling other areas. I love the South, Carcassonne, Tours, and countless other areas, but the food, weather, scenery and people I have met along the Dordogne river corridor keep drawing me there. I guess it just feels right.

Paul
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

cyrian

Thanks for your reply. I need the lump sum for 2 reasons really, its tax free so reduces my tax burden and I intend to use it as a drawdown pot until our state pensions kick in. We are in our mid 50's now and should be around 10 years from state pension age when we move.
I have read about mutuelle insurance, and I'm guessing thats going to be quite expensive. I havent drilled down into that yet but I'm guessing around 4000 euros for the two of us.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 9:33 am
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Originally Posted by Paul2566 View Post
Hi EuroTrash.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Waiting 3 months to access the system echos what I'd read elsewhere, and the whole tax thing is confusing.
I was planning on taking my lump sum before moving and using it as a drawdown until my state pension kicks in and Hayleys after another 2 years. As a Police pension from what I have read it may be exempt from social charges, and it will be taxed at source in the UK. Which is unfortunate as I would think it would be fairer to pay my taxes in France, but I don't get a choice.
As for that part of France, I have spent holidays in France for the last 30 years or so, and have returned to this area frequently despite sampling other areas. I love the South, Carcassonne, Tours, and countless other areas, but the food, weather, scenery and people I have met along the Dordogne river corridor keep drawing me there. I guess it just feels right.

Paul
Good decision Paul.
Remember that your income for the calendar year 2018 is declared and taxed in 2019.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 10:11 am
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Paul, I was married when I arrived, then divorced. (Since remarried - mad!), our joint mutuelle was about 1600 Euros ten years ago. Anyway, currently my mutuelle for one person, is an all-singing, all-dancing top of the range one, and it's just over 1200 Euros per annum. So for two, 2000-2500 PA is probably more realistic.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Fwiw, our Mutuelle is 1200euros/annum for the 2 of us, for which we get absolutely 1st class cover . BUT one must shop around and compare tariffs and the cover they provide with at least 6 companies, which is what we did before signing up.
For sure one can find cheaper (and more expensive) for less cover. So do your homework well.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Originally Posted by Paul2566 View Post
it will be taxed at source in the UK. Which is unfortunate as I would think it would be fairer to pay my taxes in France, but I don't get a choice.
These things have been agreed by wiser heads than ours, as you say we don't have a choice, we just do what it says in the tax treaty.
But as far as this goes - I guess the thinking is that government and public service salaries and hence pensions are paid for by the country's taxpayers, so in that sense it's fairer for any tax levied on them to go back into that country's tax revenue pot. I imagine it's the same in reverse, any French gendarmes who retire to the UK will keep paying tax on their pension to France. Though, retired gendarmes wanting to retire to the UK seems very unlikely...
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
These things have been agreed by wiser heads than ours, as you say we don't have a choice, we just do what it says in the tax treaty.
But as far as this goes - I guess the thinking is that government and public service salaries and hence pensions are paid for by the country's taxpayers, so in that sense it's fairer for any tax levied on them to go back into that country's tax revenue pot. I imagine it's the same in reverse, any French gendarmes who retire to the UK will keep paying tax on their pension to France. Though, retired gendarmes wanting to retire to the UK seems very unlikely...
I tend to agree. Saint Tropez would appear more appropriate for retirement.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
These things have been agreed by wiser heads than ours, as you say we don't have a choice, we just do what it says in the tax treaty.
But as far as this goes - I guess the thinking is that government and public service salaries and hence pensions are paid for by the country's taxpayers, so in that sense it's fairer for any tax levied on them to go back into that country's tax revenue pot. I imagine it's the same in reverse, any French gendarmes who retire to the UK will keep paying tax on their pension to France. Though, retired gendarmes wanting to retire to the UK seems very unlikely...
In part I guess but I have paid 13% of my salary into the pension, and there is no pot as such. Its strange, but contributions from serving officers pay out retired officers, with the government picking up any shortfall. It just seems fairer to pay the tax to the country where you live, since I'm making use of their infrastructure, but as I said there is no choice, my pension will always be taxed at source.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Dreaming of moving to France as retired Police officer

Originally Posted by Paul2566 View Post
It just seems fairer to pay the tax to the country where you live, since I'm making use of their infrastructure, but as I said there is no choice, my pension will always be taxed at source.
Don't worry Paul, I think you'll find you'll give Marianne plenty, one way and another
But I must say it's refreshing to hear the usual logic being used in reverse - the usual logic being: "I contributed all my working life in the UK and I shouldn't need to pay any more, so why is France expecting me to contribute now?"
My point was though, that police salaires, out of which you and subsequent generations of serving officers pay pension contributions, originally come out of the public purse not out of created wealth as in the case of people who work in the private sector. So it's a separate money-go-round, tax levied on what came out of the public purse goes back into the public purse. Or so it seems to me but maybe you don't see it like that. I just thought your conscience might sit easier if you looked at it that way.
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