A little-known and little-discussed subject, the validation of terms in prison remains a real question, which needs to be answered. As more and more detainees exercise a professional activity during their period of detention, it is normal to wonder about a possible quarterly contribution, made in this specific context. Is a validation of quarters therefore effective in prison, and, if so, what are the conditions of this contribution?

Since January 1, 1977, prisoners who carry out penal labor or follow a vocational training course are effectively affiliated to the old-age insurance. They therefore contribute to their retirement. Old-age insurance contributions are thus calculated at the same rate as that enjoyed by other insured persons. It is therefore based on the total gross remuneration received by the person concerned on the last day of each calendar quarter. In order to validate a quarter, the prisoner must therefore have contributed 150 times the gross hourly minimum wage in force, set on January 1 of the current year, i.e. 1,690.50 euros in 2023.

Legally, any work done in prison gives rise to the same pension rights as work outside prison. However, the work carried out in a prison environment is not subject to an employment contract, but rather to a contract of engagement. Remuneration received in prison can also be taken into account for the calculation of the Average Annual Salary (SAM), which corresponds to the average of the 25 best years of salary. It should be noted that the minimum wage in prison is set at 1.58 euros per hour, compared to 11.27 euros for the ordinary Smic in 2023, which makes it very difficult to contribute quarters for an inmate.