Retirement. Why are some quarters considered for a long career and others not?

A recent decision of the Court of Cassation sheds an interesting light on long careers. Here's what we can say about it.

What are career long schemes?

They allow you to retire before the legal age (at 58, 60, 62 or 63), provided you have five quarters in the year you turn 16, 18, 20 or 21. And a full career with contributions: but certain quarters are not counted, reminds the recent decision of the Court of Cassation. The complainant, born in 1956, requested an end to her long career a few years ago, taking into account the twenty-fourths earned during two parental leaves. Faced with the rejection of the pension fund, she contested it. The Court of Cassation confirmed the refusal.

Why this rejection?

“The quarters related to parental leave are excluded from the considered periods, since they did not lead to the contributions paid by the insured,” the judges write. Because those quarters (up to twelve per child, for parental leave, which is not paid except for special collective agreements) are said to be “free”, that is, they are given without any contributions. This also applies to appointments for children (eight per child). They are not expected to have a long career either.

Read also: Pension reform: do you have a long career? Here is what the decree changes

What are those free quarters for?

To improve the classical career. It is calculated in relation to the quarters earned versus the quarters needed depending on his generation (172 quarters in the end). “According to the Old Age Insurance Fund (which administers basic private pensions, editor's note), this allows women's pensions to increase by an average of 12%,” notes Claude Wagner, of CFDT pensioners. However, as the legal age increases, which increases the number of deadlines to meet, increases for children may become unnecessary. Hence, the reform introduced a premium of up to 5% for mothers who have full working experience at the age of 63, and have to wait until the legal age of 64 to leave,” explains the trade unionist.

What about “deemed paid” quarters?

Certain non-contributory quarters are still taken into account for a long career: military service or even paid unemployment (up to four quarters), etc. And since the reform, up to four quarters of old-age insurance for parents at home (entitlement open to parental leave, subject to financial conditions, for people receiving certain benefits from Caf, such as joint child education allowance) are taken into account for a long career.

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