They are several million to depend on it. In 2018, informs Capital, nearly 2.8 million men and especially women benefited from a survivor’s pension from the general scheme. A globally stable figure compared to 2017 since the number of new people to benefit from such a device increased from 170,000 to 170,660 from the first year to the second respectively. This information is all the more important since income inequalities still persist between women and men after the cessation of activity, as the economist Florence Legros explained in our columns. The survivor’s pension precisely makes it possible to minimize the reality of such situations, she informs.
Therefore, it seems important to understand how this device works, which mainly benefits women. In 2021, Notre Temps underlines, they represented 88% of the beneficiaries of the reversion. But who, exactly, can still claim it today? How is its amount calculated? Does the number of years of living together play a role? The answers of Dominique Prévert, partner of the specialized firm Optimaretraite.
Who can claim survivor’s pension? The answer is clear, clear and precise, reminds the specialist from the outset. “Any surviving spouse can claim a survivor’s pension,” he explains, not without emphasizing that this is a question of the spouse as defined by the Civil Code. It is therefore a question of a husband or wife who would have survived his partner. “Pacsés and cohabitants are excluded from reversion”, he confirms.
“As soon as the deceased spouse has generated personal pension rights, that is to say if he or she has already worked and therefore contributed, he or she has also generated rights for his surviving spouse”, explains Dominique Prévert.
Two important points must still be clarified, continues the specialist. “Let us first remember that it is not necessary to be retired yourself to be able to benefit from the survivor’s pension. It is not even necessary that the deceased spouse has already liquidated his rights. If this is the case, the calculation will be simplified, since it will then be a percentage of the pension that was received. Otherwise, it is on the basis of the stock of acquired rights that the amount of the survivor’s pension will be calculated”, further indicates the partner of the company Optimaretraite.
The second element concerns the conditions of access to reversion, which vary from one scheme to another. However, the logic remains the same each time. Regardless of the plan to which the deceased spouse was required to contribute, the following conditions must be considered:
“The principle of reversion always responds to the same logic. Its articulation proceeds in the same way. On the other hand, the methods of application of the latter differ from one regime to another”, recalls Dominique Prévert.
In the event of multiple beneficiaries – if the deceased spouse had several husbands or wives, for example -, there can then be a proration of the reversion according to the duration of the union, explains Dominique Prévert. “Take the example of a woman, divorced from her husband, who then remarried. At the time of the death of her former spouse, she was 60 years old and met all the conditions to be able to claim survivorship. Because her former husband remarried, he mechanically opened reversionary rights to his second wife”, summarizes the expert from the outset. A question then remains: how much will the person in our example be entitled to.
“In total, the deceased spouse will have been married for 30 years. 10 years with his first wife, then 20 with the second. The first will then be entitled to 10 thirtieths, which corresponds to 1 third of the amount of the reversion. The second will receive 20 thirtieths, i.e. the remaining two thirds”, continues the partner Optimaretraite.
The President of the Republic has already announced the color: he wants to reform the French pension system, to encourage active men and women to work longer. Could such a transformation have an impact on the survivor’s pension?
According to the insurance company Groupama, the reform could indeed provide for a certain number of provisions relating to reversion. Thus, to receive the reversion at the end of the reform, explains the company, it will be necessary to justify new criteria of age (to be at least 55 years old), of union (not to remarry) but also of duration of marriage (having been married for at least two years or having had a child from the marriage).
Some of these criteria may seem similar to those already applied, but according to Groupama the difference is significant: there would then only be a single reversion scheme. Go to the end of the parliamentary debates to get to the bottom of it.
Florence Legros, economist and director of the ICN Business School paints a frightening portrait of the situation in France for Planet. In terms of inequalities between women and men in retirement, the amount of the pension is obviously the crux of the problem according to the economist. “The gap is significant. In 2018, which corresponds to the latest data published by the DREES, the average pension for women was 1,110 euros per month when it was 1,784 euros monthly for men. is not trivial and it is not only linked to the last salaries”, observes the specialist in our columns, who dwells on pensions from the general scheme.
“The root of the problem also lies in the career choices available to women. At thirty, women born in 1954 (that is to say those retiring today) had validated 39 .8 quarters of contributions according to the DREES.Comparatively, men of the same generation posted 44.2.However, women did not start working much later: they had to deal with career interruptions and fragmentation of their professional life”, emphasizes the economist.