Marriage or civil partnership (i.e. in a French Pacs agreement) : what difference does it make to personal protection ?
September 25, 2020
Partners are entitled to the same healthcare and death benefits whether they are married or in a civil union, but the rules are different for retirement income.
When it comes to health and death insurance, an employee’s civil partner (i.e. in a French Pacs agreement) has the same rights as a married spouse. However, after the death of an employee, the survivor’s allowance is only paid to the employee’s spouse.
Healthcare and death benefits: are married and civil partners
(i.e. in a French Pacs agreement) treated equally ?
Absolutely. Married partners and Pacs civil partners are granted the same rights.
If the employee’s married or civil partner is unemployed, he or she is entitled to basic healthcare coverage as a family member of the employee, just as the employee’s children are. The same rule applies to supplemental health insurance. An employee can even opt out of their company’s supplemental healthcare plan if the group policy to which their spouse or civil partner belongs offers better benefits.
When an employee dies, regardless of the amount of their salary, the national health insurance system in France pays a death benefit of €3,472 to the employee’s family. This lump sum is paid as a priority to the surviving partner – no distinction is made between a married or a civil partner (i.e. in a French Pacs agreement). As for the death benefit paid by the employer, employees can designate any person as the beneficiary of the sum to be paid. Here again, marital status is not taken into account.
Survivor’s allowance: who are the beneficiaries ?
Only the married spouse of a deceased employee is eligible to receive a portion of the old-age allowance being paid, or due to be paid, to the retired employee. Civil partners (i.e. in a French Pacs agreement) cannot receive this survivor’s benefit.
The base amount of the survivor’s benefit is equal to 54% of the base allowance of the deceased employee. To receive it, the surviving spouse must be at least 55 with an annual income of less than €21,112 if living alone, or €33,779.20 if living with a partner. If the employee had divorced and remarried, the base amount is shared between the former and current spouses.
The amount of the supplemental survivor’s benefit is equal to 60% of the deceased employee’s entitlement under the Agirc-Arrco system. For this allowance, the surviving spouse must also be at least 55, but there is no income requirement. However, payment of the allowance is suspended if the surviving spouse remarries or has a live-in partner.
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